Last weekend is normally one of our busiest at Manchester so when we were asked to fit an airshow in around the normal commercial aircraft we knew it would be a challenge.

Manchester Airport wanted to mark their 75th anniversary with the airshow which included several aircraft performing fly-pasts and displays of vintage aircraft including the legendary Lancaster bomber which, in the 1930s, made its first flight out of Manchester.

A Hornet Moth, Dragon and Morane Sauline also featured along with displays from The Blades aerobatic display team and The Ravens parachute team.

Manchester Airport was officially opened on Saturday June 25th 1938 with an air display from the Royal Air Force. Operations began two days later and in the first 14 months, the airport handled 7,600 passengers.

It only takes a few hours of a busy summer’s day for 7,600 passengers to pass through Manchester Airport today.

In our tower NATS controllers ran dual runways during key periods – instead of stopping dual operations at 10.30am as usual – to keep the traffic moving smoothly.

We introduced some special procedures and the staff on duty had to get used to some different phraseology but everything passed off very smoothly.

Our teams worked really hard to integrate the airshow displays and aircraft with the normal commercial traffic with the minimum delays. They did a great job.

Some photos from the day

Thank you to both John Greenway and Manchester Air Traffic Controller Allan Moir for sharing some photos from the day.

Click to enlarge the images:


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Peter Hargreaves

Well done to Manchester ATC. Integrating airshows with normal airport ops was never an easy task. (I well recall the days of airshows at Woodford and Barton). The prototype Lancaster – (actually a development from the Avro Manchester) – first flew at ‘Ringway’ on 9th January 1941. In 1991, the Royal Aeronautical Society held various meetings including one at Manchester Airport which was a great presentation about the Lancaster development. Thanks for the fabulous photo of the display..


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