Proposed amendment to the Manchester Low Level Route (MLLR)

Closes 15 Jul 2024

Opened 21 May 2024


The UK Civil Aviation Authority is seeking your views on its proposed amendment to the Manchester Low Level Route (MLLR).

The MLLR, currently designated as Class D controlled airspace, benefits from a temporary exemption permitting aircraft to fly through it under specific conditions. This exemption, crucial for MLLR operations, was due to expire on 31st May 2024. Our comprehensive review, incorporating stakeholder input and safety data analysis, has identified safety concerns, such as the increased risk of mid-air collisions. The current configuration of the airspace, along with its temporary exemption status, is misaligned with our long-term operational objectives. Consequently, we propose reclassifying and modifying the MLLR to enhance safety and efficiency, aligning it with overarching UK aviation policy objectives.

After detailed analysis and collaboration with both Manchester and Liverpool Airports, we are proposing an amendment to the MLLR with four core elements. The proposed elements are:

  • Reclassifying the current Class D MLLR airspace to Class G uncontrolled airspace.
  • Implementing a Restricted Area within the reclassified airspace.
  • A maximum altitude within the Class G airspace of 1500ft – 200ft higher than the MLLR currently permits.
  • Creating Class G airspace 0.65 nautical miles wider than today’s MLLR along its eastern boundary.

We anticipate these amendments will enhance airspace safety without adversely affecting aviation or local communities.

In our commitment to best practice and transparency, we are enaging on each element of the MLLR amendment individually. This approach allows for thorough consideration and feedback on each aspect of the proposed changes. However, it's our strong belief that the combination of all proposed elements is essential for achieving our objectives most effectively and as such we will be our final submission to the regulator will be one whole solution rather than the individual elements.

For full details on our proposal and its expected impacts please read our engagement document or our easy to read summary.

This proposal to amend the MLLR is being developed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and relates to airspace provided for smaller general aviation aircraft. It is a wholly separate piece of work to the airspace change proposals being prepared by both Manchester and Liverpool Airports, as part of the FASI program. Our proposal does not affect commercial aviation traffic in to or out of either of these airfields.   

How to respond

We would like all stakeholders to consider our proposal and provide their views using this online survey, by 23:59 on 15 July 2024.

Update 05 June 2024

Since opening our engagement exercise we have had a number of queries regarding the exemptions to the minimum height rules detailed in ORS4 No.1496. We can confirm that these will still apply to the solution we are proposing in our engagement document.

Give us your views

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


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