For those who use Manchester Airport, more work is being carried out. The owners – MAG (Manchester Airports Group) announced a £440m investment in the facility.
According to the airport, the investment will transform the passenger experience at the UK’s third-largest airport, with new spacious facilities, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and an exciting array of shops, bars, restaurants and airport lounges, allowing the airport to expand its role as the Gateway to the North of England, whilst allowing the region to even more welcome people as an international destination.
The investment is the final phase of the £1.3bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP), first announced in 2015 with a 10-year vision to revolutionise the customer experience at the Northern hub and unlock the potential of its two full-length runways.
The first phase saw Terminal 2 more than double in size, with the new facility has received positive feedback from passengers and airlines since opening in July 2021.
This latest investment will complete the transformation of Terminal 2, delivering improvement to all stages of the passenger journey – from check-in to baggage reclaim – and upgrading its airfield to cater for next-generation aircraft.
Upon completion in 2025, around 80% of all passengers will use the expanded Terminal 2.
What about Terminal 1?
There is a downside – with all this work, the need for Terminal 1 of Manchester Airport will vanish.
The current Terminal 1 facility is set to close – 63 years after it was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1962.
With the expanded capacity that Terminal 2 should bring, it would be safe to assume that airlines will be distributed to Terminals 2 and 3.
Benefits already, but enabling works too
The expanded Terminal 2 has already welcomed several new airlines to Manchester and seen the launch or relaunch of a string of critical routes., with a brand-new service to Kuwait, a revived service to Beijing and a first UK Transatlantic base for Aer Lingus.
There are several works underway to enable the final parts of this work with planned improvements by the airport listed as:
- Doubling the size of the existing departure lounge, with a wider selection of shops and food and drink outlets
- The construction of an additional security hall, fitted with next-generation security scanners (eg the CT-Style scanners).
- A new pier, matching the look and feel of the first pier that opened in 2019, with passenger gate space.
- A new dual taxiway system to improve airfield efficiency, with flexible aircraft stands
- More than doubling the terminal’s hold baggage capacity to over 5,000 bags per hour, with two new teardrop check-in islands.
Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, said:
“Manchester Airport is a key economic asset for the North, and this investment will maximise the contribution it makes to creating a balanced and globally competitive UK economy.
“Our £1.3bn transformation programme demonstrates our long-term commitment to providing a great airport experience for passengers who travel through Manchester. I’m delighted to be announcing the go-ahead for the final phase, which will open in 2025, connecting the people and businesses of the North to dozens more global destinations, and creating jobs and stimulating increased levels of trade and tourism.”
Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: “
It is hugely exciting to be announcing this significant investment in Manchester Airport. It represents a major milestone in the history of both our airport, and the region as a whole.
“By completing the transformation of Terminal 2, we will not only be offering passengers across the North an unrivalled choice of destinations, but also providing them with world class facilities and a great overall experience when they travel through Manchester.
“I cannot wait to see the plans come to fruition, for the benefit of all of our customers, colleagues and supporters.”
There’s a way to go
It is welcoming to see Manchester Airport follow through with its expansion and remodelling plans as it continues to cement its place as the gateway to the north (and in some senses – an alternative for people having to trek down to London when they can).
With the works, there will be disruption – but the result should be a smoother passenger experience.
Providing Manchester Airport can staff it appropriately (something the airport has suffered with in the past), it could be a big step forward.
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