Final phase of airport transformation plan announced

Posted: 25/01/2023

MAG (Manchester Airports Group) is promising thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of economic value for the north over the next decade, through a £440 million investment into Manchester Airport.

Set to transform the passenger experience at the airport, the investment will unlock new spacious facilities, the latest technology and equipment, and an array of shops, bars, restaurants, and airport lounges.

Manchester Airport aims to expand its role as the ‘UK’s global gateway in the north’, connecting the region to more international destinations, including some of the world’s most important economic markets.

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' 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 opening in July 2021.

This latest investment will complete the transformation of Terminal 2, delivering improvement for passengers as they progress through the airport – from check-in to baggage reclaim - as well as upgrading the airfield to cater for next generation aircraft.

Upon completion in 2025, around 80 per cent of all passengers will use the expanded Terminal 2, with Terminal 1 set to close – 63 years after it was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1962.

More than 500 jobs will be created in the construction phase alone. Independent analysis from York Aviation forecasts around 16,400 extra jobs will be generated by 2040 as a result of the economic activity stimulated by the expansion of the airport and its route network.

The same research reveals that Manchester Airport’s current contribution to the northern economy of £3.5 billion is expected to increase by nearly 80 per cent, to £6.3 billion by 2040 as a result of the full delivery of the transformation programme.

And a further £2.9 billion will be triggered through increased productivity of businesses travelling and trading globally through Manchester over the same period.

MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish 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 £1.3 billion 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’s 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'll 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.”

The expanded Terminal 2 has already welcomed a number of new airlines to Manchester and seen the launch or relaunch of a string of key routes such as a new service to Kuwait, a revived service to Beijing and the first UK transatlantic base for AerLingus.

Enabling works for the second phase of the project are underway, and planned improvements include:

  • Doubling the size of the existing departure lounge, with a wider selection of shops and food and drink outlets, showcasing northern products
  • The construction of an additional security hall, fitted with next-generation security scanners
  • A new pier, matching the look and feel of the first pier that opened in 2019, including spacious gates
  • 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

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Manchester Airport is a massive asset to our city region, connecting those living and working here to global destinations, as well as helping attract visitors, tourists and inward investment.

“The further investment in the Manchester Airport transformation programme will enhance Greater Manchester’s international credentials and make a major contribution to the northern economy.

“The project is also doing a huge amount to create employment for people from all backgrounds and providing training that will ensure it leaves a skills legacy for future generations.”

Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We welcome this important investment in a thriving future for Manchester Airport. It’s a boost not just for the airport itself but for Manchester, and Greater Manchester, as a whole.

“The airport is a vital asset which helps attract employment and investment to the city and supports tens of thousands of jobs, both directly and through the wider visitor economy. Having this global connectivity is a major competitive advantage for Manchester. 

"As well as boosting the airport, this next phase of the transformation programme will also create thousands of jobs which Manchester people can access, including young people getting started in their careers.  

"This scale of investment, underpinned by a long-term vision to transform the airport and its facilities, is a real statement of confidence." 


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