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Manchester reveals £1bn airport expansion programme

Manchester Airport has unveiled a £1bn investment package that will include the expansion of Terminal 2 and improvements to Terminal 3.

The 10-year programme features 60 enhancements, including the introduction of self-service check-in desks, enhanced US immigration facilities, and a direct link between terminals 2 and 3.

The work, which could get under way next year, will double the capacity of the airport which served 22m passengers in 2014.

The ‘Transformation Programme’ will be implemented in phases to keep passenger disruption to a minimum, with the improvements to be delivered “inside the existing footprint of the airport” and are in line with the existing Manchester Airport Master Plan.

Announcing the investment, chancellor George Osborne said the airport’s plans would tie in with the creation of the Northern Powerhouse.

“The investment, which will completely transform Manchester Airport and double its capacity, will help ensure that it continues to compete with global airports across the world,” Mr Osborne said.

“It will play a key role in this one-nation government’s plan to rebalance the UK economy and boost productivity, and is fantastic news for working people across the North.”

The airport expansion programme in full 

  • The expansion and reconfiguring of Terminal 2, to become the airport’s primary terminal building
  • Improvement of Terminal 3 to cater for increased demand and an expanding flight schedule
  • The introduction of new and enlarged airside transfer facilities, including the direct linkage between Terminals 2 and 3
  • US pre-clearance facility, allowing passengers to clear immigration, customs, and agricultural inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before boarding their flight
  • Introduction of the latest technology in a new, enlarged security hall that will screen more passengers, more quickly
  • The introduction of a host of new customer-friendly enhancements, including self-service check-in facilities and around 50 food and beverage and retail outlets
  • Creation of a ‘future-proofed’ operational airport environment that provides greater flexibility and resilience to cater to evolving airline and security needs
  • The introduction of new stands and piers, offering better departure gate facilities
  • Improved surface access road system making it easier for customers to come to and from our airport

Manchester Airport Group chief executive Charlie Cornish said: “Manchester Airport is thriving as a national asset, forming a key component of the UK’s aviation infrastructure at a time when airport capacity in the country is at a premium.

“The region in which the airport operates and serves has seen a pace of change in recent years almost unmatched by any other in the United Kingdom and we are proud of the role that we have played in driving economic growth – both across the North and the UK as a whole.

“Manchester Airport has responded well to the considerable changes in the aviation industry over the last 20 years and we have invested heavily to meet the needs of our airline customers, passengers and local communities.”

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese added: ““Manchester Airport plays a vital economic role in the region in which it serves.

“Its annual passenger numbers last year topped a record 22m and it provides jobs for 20,000 people on site and a further 25,000 indirectly.

“Greater Manchester and the rest of the North-west is increasingly competing on an international stage and an airport that is better suited to serving these global aspirations will significantly improve the impact the region can have in attracting inward and outward investment, helping it to realise its full economic potential and create further jobs and opportunities.”

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