For the first time visitor, flying in to City Airport (Manchester Barton) can appear to be daunting. However, most would agree that its really quite simple. The information provided here is intended to give further guidance to help you plan your flight.
Arriving from the South (via the Low Level Route)
You will need to follow the Manchester Low Level Route which starts just North of Ashcroft Farm Strip. The max altitude in the route is 1300 feet Manchester QNH. For specific requirements to use the Low Level Route see the information below.
Once you reach abeam Stretton VRP, you can then turn right and change to Barton Information on 120.255 mhz. As you approach the airfield, you will see the M60 motorway bridge across the Canal and just beyond a large Indoor Ski Slope building which is quite prominent. The M62 motorway passes about 1/2 mile North of the airfield. Barton is to the North of the canal and before the motorway bridge by about 1/2 mile.
Arriving from the North
The airspace is class G up to 2000 ft QNH and there is no requirement to talk to Manchester when transiting to/from the airfield.
Inbound RTF call
From any direction we would recommend that your inbound call is made to Barton Information is made in good time before reaching the ATZ to ensure a timely communication is established with the AFISO. If you are asked to standby, we ask that you remain outside the ATZ and await the AFISO to call you back.
Non Radio Aircraft
We are an aerodrome which is Prior Permission Required (PPR) and we also accept non radio aircraft. In these circumstances, please obtain PPR by telephone prior to departure. At this point if we are able, permission will be granted and aerodrome information provided along with any expected changes to this information. A signal square is provided to indicate the runway in use and light signals also provided.
Joining the Circuit - Fixed Wing
The Standard Circuit Join is to approach the field overhead at 1500 feet on the Barton QFE then to commence a descent on the deadside to the fixed wing circuit height of 1000 feet Barton QFE. Keep a good lookout for other aircraft that may be joining the same circuit pattern. The FISO will issue relevant traffic information to assist with with integration into any other circuit traffic that might be present.
Fixed Winged pilots are advised that the helicopter training circuits are carried out at 500 feet underneath the fixed wing circuit. The helicopter circuit climbout and final approach however, remain clear of the runway in use.
Joining the Circuit - Helicopters
There are 3 main arrival routes published for helicopters. These are designed to ensure that helicopter traffic is separated from fixed winged procedures. These are available from the AIS website.
Unless otherwise requested, helicopters should route via a designated point. The FISO will issue relevant traffic information to assist with a safe approach.
Helicopter circuits are flown at 500ft Barton QFE underneath the fixed wing circuit (1000ft). Approaches are made to either Heli East or Helicopter Training Area North (HTA N) with due regard to the runway in use.
Using the Manchester Low Level Route
Class D VMC minima requirements for the Low Level route changed on 26th March 2020. For information on the revised criteria and requirements using the Manchester Low Level Route, including use of the Frequency Monitoring Codes, please see the following.
City Airport is located in close proximity to controlled airspace, to enable adjacent radar equipped air traffic units to identify that aircraft are in communication with ‘Barton Information’ a conspicuity squawk is in use.
Aircraft may be allocated a squawk of ‘7365’ on initial contact with Barton Information.
Pilots must not squawk 7365 until advised to do so. Those aircraft that are not transponder equipped should advise ‘Negative Transponder’
The allocation of squawk ‘7365’ includes the selection, where fitted, of Mode ‘C’ on the aircraft’s transponder.
(It is stressed that Barton Information have no access themselves to radar and no form of radar service is implied by the use of this squawk)
City Airport is currently working with the Civil Aviation Authority and Airspace4All trialling an ADS-B Traffic Display within our Air Traffic unit. This trial is to gather evidence to enable the CAA to assess this capability and give consideration to policy change authorising use of ADS-B real-time traffic displays by GA ATS units. Additionally, it is hoped this trial will encourage further development of technology to support ATS provision at UK GA airfields.
Pilots who have ADSB-Out capability installed in their aircraft are to advise 'Barton Information' that they are 'ADSB-equipped' on first contact.
(Note that ADSB-Out is distinct from Mode A/ C and Mode S transponders)
Read more about the trial and the procedures on the Airspace4All website.