Residents fear Manchester longer operating hours will mean more noise

Manchester airport has decided to extend the operating hours of its second runway. The airport built a 2nd runway, back in 2001 when it thought there would be an expansion in demand. They forecast badly, the estimates were far too high, and the runway is barely used. The airport only had some 20.6 million passengers in 2013, while over 30 million could be accommodated on one runway. Now Manchester has decided to increase the hours when flights use the 2nd runway for 3 hours per day. The hours were 4pm to 8pm, but these will be increased to 1pm to 8pm from  Monday to Saturday. The decision comes after a trial last summer, and will come into force on May 1st.  The 2nd runway cannot be used from 10pm to 6am, to avoid noise to local residents.  In 2013 Manchester airport had a 5.2% increase in passengers over 2012, the first time it got over the 20 million mark since 2007. Manchester hopes to have a direct flight to Hong Kong from December 2014. People are worried that the extra operating hours will mean an unpleasant increase in noise. 



Manchester Airport: Neighbours say extended hours will mean more noise

Plane spotters are snap-happy at the prospect of more to see, but residents under the flight path fear more noise pollution

Neighbours in Mobberley, who live beneath the Runway Two flight path, seemed unaware of the looming changes to operating hours.

Retired photographic expert Evan Prosser, 85, has lived in his home since 1962 and has in the past received a grant towards sound-proofing.

“It’s still quite noisy when the windows are open, and not bad when we close the windows but I won’t be looking forward to this change at all. If we open our windows in the early afternoon it will be very loud. You realise how bad it is when you have an outdoor event.

“A few years ago we had a tea party and it was just not enjoyable. It was all right when we first moved in many years ago, but the airport has grown a lot since then. In a way we’ve got used to it but I’m not pleased there will be more hours.”

Ellen Buckley, 39, lives with her mother Anne Colley, 76. She said: “We didn’t know about this. When we are inside the planes make the pictures rattle and you have to stop talking but you get used to it, especially when you’ve been living here 40 years. We are a bit disappointed.”

IT manager David Brush, 52, his wife Sally, and one of their four children, live to the side of the flight path.

He said: “It’s disappointing, especially as we didn’t know this was happening. My wife works at home too so this will affect her in the day.

“It’s just the level of noise – at the moment it’s not too bad but an increase would be a little disappointing.”

Leanne Barnes, 26, lives with her daughter Isabelle, two.

She said: “I didn’t know about this but I don’t mind at all. I am completely used to the sound of the planes and I keep my windows shut in the early morning and at night. Isabelle really likes the planes too.”

It’s good news for aviation enthusiasts

Plane spotters at the Manchester Airport aviation viewing park

Plane spotters at the Runway Visitor Park were pleased to hear of the extension to Runway Two hours.

Supermarket worker James Donaldson, 30, from Sale, said: “It’s a great thing that Runway Two’s opening hours are going to be extended. We are going need it in the future, there are going to be more flights operating from Manchester, we’ve got new routes coming to the Far East shortly. Basically It’s going to be needed and I think it should have been done a while ago.

“It’s a great thing for enthusiasts like me, with my long range camera I can photograph aircraft taking off on that runway no problem and there’s another spot on the south side which is just opposite runway two where you can get some great photos. I think it’s absolutely brilliant.”

Care worker George Tetteh-Ahirakwa, 42, from Wythenshawe, said: “The more planes there are, the better it is for those like me.

“Perhaps somebody who is not a plane spotter might have a problem with it – although I think as it will be in the day time it’s not as bad as if it were at night. Perhaps those people should get double glazing. The airport needs to do this because it is expanding.”

Ian Baker, 60, travels to Manchester from Birmingham to spot planes because he says the facilities are a lot better here.

He said: “Extending the hours would suit me because more planes equals hopefully more to spot. I’m very happy.”




Manchester Airport extends second runway opening hours to cope with demand

Runway Two will now operate from 1pm-8pm instead of 4pm-8pm, Monday to Saturday

A plane landing at Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport is extending the opening hours of its second runway to cope with booming passenger numbers.

Runway Two will now operate from 1pm-8pm instead of 4pm-8pm, Monday to Saturday.

It will mean flights can be shifted over from Runway One during the busiest times.

The decision comes after a trial extension last summer, and will come into force on May 1.

An airport spokesman said: “Last summer we conducted a trial of revised operating hours on Runway Two. We wanted to improve operations by increasing capacity, which meant opening the runway three hours early each day, and we plan to repeat this from 1 May.

“We will continue to work closely with our local communities as we are aware that our operations have an impact but we are aiming to improve efficiency on the airfield and drive further improvements in customer service for our airline customers and passengers.”

The airport saw a 5.2 per cent increase in its passenger figures last year – hitting the 20m mark for the first time since 2007.

Last week, it achieved its goal of securing a direct Far East flight service, with the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong route launching in December, operating four times a week, and creating 200 jobs.

Manchester Airport: Neighbours say extended hours will equal more noise  (Video clip – the plane spotters think more planes is a great idea!)

It means Manchester is the only airport outside of London to have a direct service to China and the deal is tipped to deliver a major boost to the region’s economy.

Other new long haul routes this year include Charlotte in North Carolina, America and Toronto, Canada, as well as new European and North African destinations.

Business and airline chiefs have welcomed the extra routes – saying they will create jobs and help the economy – but not everyone is pleased that the airport is booming,

Residents living under the flight path have previously complained about noise – and some have now raised concerns to the M.E.N. about more daytime noise pollution.

The airport has paid out more than £10m in compensation to residents of Knutsford and Mobberley, who claim the noise and fumes from planes has slashed the value of their homes since the second runway was opened in 2001.


Runway Two is out of bounds between 10pm and 6am because of noise complaints from local residents.

But the airport has permission to use it for emergencies or maintenance. It was used overnight for two months until March 28 while Runway One was shut for repair work.

The noisiest three categories of aircraft are also banned from taking off and landing on either runway overnight and the airport can be fined if noise exceeds the maximum levels set by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The airport spokesman added that residents had been consulted on the extended hours and leaflets were handed out in the community.



Manchester Airport  – Terminal Passengers:  


UK Airport Statistics: 2012 – annual  (Table 10.3)  Terminal Passengers  2002 – 2012

2013     20,682,900 (up + 5.2% on 2012)
2012     19,654,100  (up + 4.5% on 2011)
2011     18,807(up + 6% on 2010)
2010    17,663,000 (down -5% on 2009)   
2009    18,631,242  (down – 11.5% from 2008)
2008    21,063   thousand   (down  – 4% from 2007)
2007    21,892  (down – 1% from 2006)

2006    22,124
2005    22,083
2000    18,349
1997    15,726