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The Pilot Handbook is intended to provide practical guidance as to the Aerodrome Rules and Procedures. Reference should always be made to official documentation contained within the Air Navigation Order, UK AIP, Notam and Operations Notices and other relevant documents.


The primary focus of the handbook is:


Safe integration of airport activities


Safe use of airspace

  • The Online Handbook is relevant for all pilots, whether based or visiting.

  • It is a living publication that is reviewed regularly.

  • It contains guidance and Aerodrome procedures and is not a definitive statement of law. Pilots should refer to underlying regulations where applicable.

Manchester (Barton) EGCB
Updated January 2024
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General Airport Information

Any changes to Operating Hours or restrictions will be promulgated by NOTAM

Opening Hours


Mon toThurs & Sun - 0900-1800hrs (local) (or sunset if earlier).

Fri & Sat - 0900-2000 (local) (or sunset if earlier).
(Note - see Ops Notice for closures during Christmas and New Year)
NOTE: Airfield in use H24 by Emergency Service Helicopters and other Pre-Approved movements.


Air Traffic Service

Barton Information - 120.255mHz. 

As Aerodrome hours.

Area of coverage 10nm/3000ft.

Rescue and Fire Fighting

Category 1 RFFS.
As Aerodrome hours.


Avgas 100LL (Self-Service), Jet A1 (during opening hours and H24 on request).

As Aerodrome hours except closes 15 minutes prior to closing or by arrangement.

Airport Administration

Safety Management


Barton Aerodrome is operated and managed by City Airport Ltd. It holds an Aerodrome Licence as 'Manchester (Barton)' and has a robust Safety Management System. 

The Aerodrome has a Safety Committee which discusses and liaises with the Aerodrome Management on issues relating to Operations and Safety. Pilots wishing to attend the Safety Committee should contact the Aerodrome Manager.

During published operational hours, a Duty Officer is designated who has overall control over the Airport site. The Duty Officer has authority to grant, refuse or restrict permission for any aircraft movement, with consideration to safety, weather, noise, surface conditions or on behalf of the Company for administrative/financial reasons.​

Rules and Procedures

Booking Out

All flights should be booked out online by visiting This page also displays the current ATIS which provides essential aerodrome information.


Barton Conspicuity Squawk

When requested to do so by the Duty FISO, aircraft should squawk 7365. This code is allocated on behalf of Manchester ATC to aid Local Airspace Safety and indicated to Radar equipped units that the aircraft is in two way communication with Barton Information.

Apron and Hangar Safety

It is recommended that personnel on the apron should wear a suitable Hi-Vis jacket. Access to the Apron is restricted to Pilots, escorted passengers or those authorised by City Airport Ltd.

All areas airside are Non Smoking.

Running aircraft engines within hangars is prohibited. Aircraft must not taxy into a hangar with the propellor turning.
When Runway 14/32 is notified as closed due to aircraft parking (as published on the ATIS), pilot access to/from this area may be made on foot.

Prior to starting, aircraft should be positioned to minimise propwash hazards to other aircraft, persons or property. Propwash should not be directed into hangars.


Aircraft should be left with the brakes off whilst fuelling.
Aircraft using the Avgas pumps should use Pump 1 for all fuelling except where the FISO gives permission.
Helicopters should use Pump 2.

Taxy Procedures
The movement of aircraft, persons or vehicles on the manoeuvring area and movement of aircraft on the apron are subject to permission from the Duty FISO. Pilots must exercise caution due to soft ground which may be unmarked. Care must be taken not to enter or cross a runway without explicit permission. 

Runway in Use

The Duty FISO will select a Runway in Use giving regard to surface wind, ground conditions and operational requirements. Pilots may request use of an alternative runway where available. Runway availability is published on the ATIS. Approaches to Runways notified as Not Available should not be made below 500ft agl.

Departure Procedures
All Runways (except Runway 20) - initial turn after departure should be made at 500ft. The FISO must be notified if an early turn below 500ft it intended so that traffic information can be provided.

Runway 20 Noise Abatement - When safe to do so, prior to or upon reaching the Manchester Ship Canal aircraft should commence a right turn to crosswind to minimise overflying residential areas of Flixton and Irlam.

Circuit Procedures

Standard Join is overhead at height 1700ft.Aircraft intending to join on downwind, base leg or final must ensure the FISO is informed prior to entering the ATZ.

Circuit Height: 1000ft (Fixed Winged), 500ft (Helicopters).

Circuit Direction: Left Hand - 02, 08L, 08R, 32; Right Hand - 14, 20, 26L, 26R

Orbits are not permitted within the circuit.


Pilots should endeavour to ensure that circuits are flown within the ATZ (2nm radius centred on the airfield. In the event that the circuit is busy and traffic conditions are such, pilots should exercise judgement and may consider the following options;

a) Operate the aircraft at a slower safe cruising speed in accordance with safe aircraft operating ability.

b) Go-Around and re-position within the circuit, advising the FISO of your intentions.

c) Climb to the overhead and rejoin the circuit, advising the FISO of your intentions.

c) Cease circuit flying or vacate the ATZ and rejoin when traffic levels have reduced.

Precautionary Circuits

Precautionary circuits may be conducted at 500ft for training purposes. Where complexity of traffic conditions such that safe integration of precautionary circuits may not be possible, the Duty FISO may withdraw the availability of this procedure. An instructor must be on board during the procedure. Due consideration must be given to other circuit traffic, allowing priority where possible to aircraft established in the standard circuit, subject to the provisions of the Air Navigation Order (Right of way). Precautionary circuits may be flown either left or right hand, with exception of runway 14 which is right hand only and runway 32 which is left hand only.

a) When the Runway in use is either 08L/26R or 08R/26L, the precautionary ‘fly-by’ should be made overflying 08R or 26R accordingly. (simulating 08L or 26L as the runway being inspected for the purpose of the exercise). The aircraft must not be flown North or South of the confines of 08L/26R or 08R/26L. This is to avoid conflict with helicopters engaged in manoeuvres that may be operating either side of the runway and to ensure that taxying aircraft are not overflown at a low level.

b) When the Runway in use is 02/20 or 14/32, the ‘fly-by’ must be confined to no more than 15 metres either side of the runway. This is no ensure that parked and taxying aircraft are not overflown at a low level and to ensure separation from other buildings and structures.

Practice Forced Landings

Forced landings may be conducted overhead the airfield as long as the FISO has been informed prior to initial positioning for and prior to the commencement of the manoeuvre.

Where the complexity of traffic conditions such that safe integration of practice forced landings may not be possible, the Duty FISO may withdraw the availability of this procedure.

An instructor should be on board during the procedure. Due consideration must be given of other circuit traffic, allowing priority where possible to aircraft established in the standard circuit, subject to the provisions of the Air Navigation Order (Right of way).

The illumination of the landing lights, (where available), is mandatory whilst practising forced landings overhead the airfield.

Practice Engine Failures After Take-Off (EFATO)

These must not be carried out at the airfield unless an instructor is on board the aircraft.
Prior to carrying out the manoeuvre, pilots should report on the RTF using the standard phrase ‘Fanstop’.

Practice Engine Failures on the climb out from Runway 08L, 08R and 14 are not permitted.

Practice Engine Failures on the climb out from Runway 20 are not permitted as a matter of routine with the exception on an individual basis for specific circumstances such as First Solo check flights or Skills Test. The FISO must be advised prior to the flight commening.

Aerobatics / Formation Flights within the ATZ

Aerobatic flights are not permitted within the ATZ. Formation flights may take place when joining via the overhead, then splitting into separate profiles.

Aircraft may be permitted to conduct a pre-arranged formation take-off providing that;

a) One aircraft is designated as the lead aircraft.

b) Runway surface conditions are suitable.

c) Traffic Conditions allow.

d) A Briefing with the FISO has taken place, prior to the aircraft taxiing.

The lead aircrafts callsign shall be used for the formation flight using ‘(aircraft callsign) formation’

Go-Around Procedure

Approaches to runways must not be continued below 300 FT AAL if:

  1. The approach ahead or runway is occupied or obstructed by aircraft, vehicles, or personnel.

Go-Around Procedure (at or above 300 FT AAL)

  1. To initiate the go-around, manoeuvre the aircraft to the dead side of the runway, climb parallel to the runway in use, and climb to circuit height (1000 FT AAL) before turning crosswind.

  2. Do not climb initially above 600 FT AAL until you have passed the upwind end of the runway in use. This ensures separation between you and the aircraft joining overhead, flying crosswind at circuit height.

  3. Exercise caution when low flying in the go-around over aircraft on the ground, including helicopters, personnel, vehicles, and control line model flying.

  4. Ensure aircraft ahead are kept in sight.

  5. Caution, helicopter operations up to a maximum of 500 FT AAL are permitted on both the live and dead side.

  6. Pilots must not conduct 'run and break' manoeuvres within the circuit.

  7. Note: As part of our noise abatement and bird avoidance procedures, long low, or fast intentional go-arounds/fly-bys along the runway must not be carried out. Pilots having to go-around because of runway occupation must not fly low over landing aircraft.

*Following a low approach or a touch and go, provided the immediate climb out is not obstructed climb straight ahead to 500ft following the standard circuit pattern.

After Landing

After landing, the aircraft should vacate the runway as instructed or at the next available exit, continuing to taxy a suitable distance away (minimum 30m or beyond the runway holding points) from any runway. Once after landing checks are completed, permission to taxy to park/fuel must be obtained from the FISO.


Noise Abatement

As part of our good neighbourly policy, all pilots using Barton Aerodrome and Manchester Heliport should be aware of the specific noise-sensitive areas as defined below.

We request that where safe to do so, flightpaths are arranged to minimise disturbance to help conform to our published Noise Abatement Policies.

Click the image below to download our Noise Abatement Areas [PDF]

Noise Abatement

Information available for the General Public regarding Airport noise can be found here.


The UK AIP entry can be viewed on the NATS UK AIP Portal.

Helicopter Procedures

Helicopter Arrivals

Helicopters should generally arrive via the following reporting positions, ensuring two-way communication is established prior to entering the ATZ;

a) Irlam - Fly not above 500ft once within 1nm of the aerodrome, routing to approach the airfield from the south towards the Heliport, 02 or 32 threshold as appropriate giving consideration to the Runway in use.

b) Astley - Fly not above 500ft once within 1nm of the aerodrome, routing to approach the airfield from the North West via the helicopter circuit towards Helicopter Training Area North/West (HTA N / HTA W) as appropriate giving consideration to the Runway in use.

c) Worsley - Fly not above 500ft once within 1nm of the aerodrome, routing to approach the airfield from the North via the helicopter circuit towards Helicopter Training Area North/West (HTA N / HTA W) as appropriate giving consideration to the Runway in use.

Helicopters inbound from the East (within the Manchester CTR), should plan a routing that remains clear of the fixed winged circuit in use.


Helicopter Departures

Helicopters must request rotor start from ATS, or if parked at the Heliport advise the FISO of the intention to start prior to commencing start.


Helicopters must not lift until in receipt of a positive instruction to taxi, or the phrase “Take off at your discretion” has been obtained.


Subject to traffic, helicopters may be requested to depart direct or via a specified runway.


Departure routings should be planned so that they do not route against the final helicopter approach for that particular runway in use.


Helicopters should not overfly the area of the airfield immediately North of the Police Air Support unit below 200 ft aal due to Control Line Model Flying which takes place.


Helicopter Autorotation practice must not be commenced from above 500ft within the ATZ without first informing the Duty FISO. In any case, unless the FISO is notified, the practice must remain well clear of any runway in use. When commencing an autorotation from any height, the Duty FISO should be advised of the aiming point being used for the manoeuvre.

Helicopters must not be left parked unattended with engine running unless rotors are disengaged and the helicopter is parked in a supervised area well away from other aircraft and personnel.

Helicopters must ensure that they give adequate safety clearance (minimum 50 m) with consideration for downwash when operating in the hover close to the Runway in Use.

When air-taxying, helicopters must not make erratic manoeuvres especially when close to other parked aircraft or runways in use.

Helicopters crossing runways should do so at 90 degrees where possible.

Helicopter circuits

Circuits are to be operated within the defined helicopter circuit as published in AD 2-EGCB-4-1 and be flown not above 500ft agl unless specific to that training manoeuvring (e.g autorotations etc).


Helicopters must not take off into the circuit without first advising the Duty FISO that they wish to conduct a circuit. They are only to lift once the Duty FISO has replied with any relevant traffic information as well as the phrase “take off at your discretion”.


A Downwind and final position report must be given stating the aiming point to be used for landing (e.g, "Helicopter G-XX downwind for the 20 threshold or Helicopter G-XX downwind for HTA-N"). The FISO will acknowledge this call and provide any relevant traffic information.


When using a Runway Threshold as an aiming point, it is important to understand that the Runway Threshold becomes the aiming point (effectively the limit and point at which a helicopter is expected to transit from forwarding flight into the hover) and must be read back as part of the final call. (E.g Helicopter G-XX Final for 20 thresholds). If this is not acknowledged then the FISO has to assume the whole Runway is being used for landing, which could prevent or conflict with other aircraft traffic using a crossing runway.


Helicopters operating purely hovering practice are not required to make RTF calls whilst engaged in the manoeuvre unless requested by the FISO or when the pilot feels doing so would aid situational awareness and traffic information.


The FISO must be informed on all occasions prior to and on commencement of all other manoeuvres.


Heli Routings can be viewed on the NATS UK AIP Portal.

Helicopter Training Areas

For the purpose of helicopter training, there are two helicopter training areas. These are designated as Helicopter Training Area North (HTA-N) and Helicopter Training Area West (HTA-W) as indicated in the diagrams below.

Helicopter Training Area North (HTA-N) – The boundary of Helicopter Training Area North (HTAN) sits 50m North of Runway 08L/26R, up to and including Runway 20/14 threshold, and as far west as abeam the Bravo 3 hold (remaining on the northern side of 08L). The training area contains helicopter aiming points Heli-West, Heli-East and a Hover Square.


Helicopter Training Area  West (HTA-W) – The boundary of Helicopter Training Area West is located over the western side of the aerodrome and is used when Runways 02/20 and or 13/32 are in use. It sits 50m West of Runway 02/20 up to and including the 08L threshold. As far south as the southern edge markers on Runway 08R/26L and as far North as the existing constraints for HTA-N


Departure from any Helicopter Training Area is not permitted without the permission from the Duty FISO.


The crossing of Runway Thresholds that lie within the designated training area is permitted unless a restriction has been imposed by the FISO due to operational reasons.


The crossing of any other Runway or Threshold that is not within the training areas is not permitted without the permission of the Duty FISO






Local Information



Paramotors often operate in the local vicinity (outside the ATZ).

Model Flying takes place from a site approx 2.5nm WNW of the Aerodrome.

Model Flying takes place from a site approx 2.2nm SW of the Aerodrome.

Drone activity may take place (co-ordinated) with the Flight Restricted Zone, and in the local vicinity (un-co-ordinated).

Aircraft Types

Pilots should be aware that a diverse range of fixed-wing aircraft types may operate at the same time within the circuit. Aircraft may, therefore, fly a range of different speeds and approach profiles within the circuit. For example, pilots should be aware that 3-axis lightweight ‘microlights’, whilst being able to fly a relatively fast downwind at around 100 knots, may slow on final to less than 50 knots.

Gyrocopters operate from the airfield. If operationally capable, gyrocopters should conform to the standard circuit flown by fixed-wing aircraft. Any alternative method of operating must be agreed with the Duty FISO prior to the flight.

Pilot’s of other aircraft should be aware that gyroplanes may often fly a tighter base leg within the circuit, and will establish a higher approach /  steeper descent profile when established on final.

Wake Turbulence

The combined operation of aircraft, helicopter, larger military helicopters and microlights means that consideration to spacing and the use of power during ground operations requires consideration.

Responsibility for separation for wake turbulence rests with the Pilot in Command.

When taxying behind other aircraft always be aware of the prop wash. This is particularly important as the aircraft moves from a stationary position or when an aircraft is carrying out power checks.


Windshear and Turbulence can be expected on approaches to all runways. In particular, conditions may be more prominent during the following conditions:

a) Runway 26L/26R Approach and 08L/08R Climbout - Additional turbulence/wind shear during strong winds (any direction) and/or high temperatures.
b) Runway 20 approach - Additional turbulence/wind shear particularly during southeast to South winds.
c) Runway 32 Approach - Additional turbulence/wind shear during strong winds (any direction) and when crossing Dual Carriageway (A57) prior to the threshold.
d) Runway 02 Approach - Additional turbulence/wind shear particularly when crossing Dual Carriageway (A57) prior to the threshold.

Bird Hazards

The risk of bird strikes at the Airport increases during periods of wet weather or during periods of re-seeding. In particular, flocks of pigeons during Summer and Gulls during Winter may be present on and in the vicinity of the aerodrome. Herons are observed to regularly fly across the aerodrome at heights of up to approximately 250 feet. 


Emergency Helicopter Activities

To assist with the safe integration of operational Police and Air Ambulance helicopter flights within the ATZ, restrictions in flying may be implemented which may include suspension of overhead joins, overhead departures, take-off’s, landings or circuit flying. The Duty FISO will advise aircraft accordingly. If the PIC is unable to comply the FISO should be informed immediately.

Local Area Noise

Whilst it is recognised that the Airport Management cannot stipulate when or where pilots fly, it must be appreciated that some members of the public find constant and repetitious flights over the same area very annoying. Pilots are therefore asked to protect the good reputation of the aerodrome and give consideration to routings to minimise sound impact. 


If noise complaints are received by the airport from members of the public, these will be communicated to the PIC where the particular flight is identified.

Emergencies and Reporting

Radio Failure

In the event of RTF failure whilst within the circuit, pilots should continue to make a full stop landing. A lookout for light signals should be made. Blind position reports should be made.

In the event of an RTF failure whilst away from the circuit, but where the flight intended to return to the aerodrome, select transponder code 7600 and make an overhead join. Observe the signal square and other aircraft and proceed to join the circuit to land. A lookout for light signals and blind position reports should be made.


Other Emergencies

Inform the Duty FISO at the earliest opportunity, where appropriate pre-fix with a standard Pan or Mayday call. The FISO will offer assistance as appropriate.


Squawk 7600 and this will alert both nearby ATC and also the Barton FISO to your radio failure

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