Helicopter procedures vary significantly from Fixed Winged, particularly when entering the ATZ. The information provided here is intended to give further guidance and advice to help.
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. You can obtain a Basic Service from Manchester Approach on 118.575 mhz, though clearance to transit the route is not required. See the listening squawk information below.
Once you reach abeam Stretton VRP, you can then turn right and change to Barton Information on 120.250 mhz. As you approach the airfield, you will see a bridge across the Canal and just beyond a large Indoor Ski Slope building which is quite prominent. The M62 approaches passes about 1/2 mile North of the airfield. Barton is to the left of the canal and before the bridge by about 1/2 mile.
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 issued further guidance and traffic information to assist with a safe approach.
Helicopters should enter the ATZ not above 500ft AGL, unless joining from Irlam VRP where, for noise abatement, helicopters may remain above 500ft (but beneath the base of the Manchester CTR), until within 1nm of the airfield when they should fly not above 500ft AGL.
Circuit Height for helicopters is 500ft Barton QFE.
Helicopter training is conducted within two defined areas which ensure separation from the runways.
Helicopters must not leave the Helicopter Training Areas without the permission of the Air TRaffic Service and must gain permission to air taxy across all runways.
Pilots must not take off from anywhere on the airfield without being in receipt of the phrase ‘Take Off at Your Discretion’ from the AFISO. This includes helicopters operating in HTA N
Once you are in contact with Barton Information, you will be asked to squawk our Conspicuity Transponder Code. You can find details of this here.
LISTENING SQUAWK 7366
To help Manchester ATC reduce zone infringements the above squawk is for use by pilots flying within 5 miles of the Manchester CTR boundary (outside it, of course!) and also monitoring Manchester Approach 118.575 Mhz just as a “listening watch” – without talking to Manchester.
To assist with navigating the Low Level Route, you can download a handy A5 size briefing form from the Fly On Track website;
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