Airport’s £1bn investment

Artist impression of how Manchester Airport will look following its transformation programme
Artist impression of how Manchester Airport will look following its transformation programme

PLANS have been unveiled for a £1bn investment over 10 years at Manchester Airport.

The project will transform the airport, of which Wigan Council owns five per cent, ensuring that it continues to thrive as a national asset and plays an even greater role as the UK’s global gateway from the North.

The ‘Manchester Airport Transformation Programme’ is a series of 60 enhancements that will provide the millions of passengers that use the airport every year with facilities that combine a contemporary look and feel with state of the art services.

It will also play a key role in delivering a Northern Powerhouse, with the airport currently supporting £1.8 billion every year in economic activity in the local and regional economy. The airport already employs 20,000 people on site and supports a further 25,000 indirectly.

The key elements of the Transformation Programme include:

• 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, quicker

• 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

The Transformation Programme will adopt a phased approach to implementation of the improvements so as to ensure minimal disruption to airport operations, passengers and airlines. The £1 billion programme updates and re-profiles existing long term capital investment plans and reflects the Group’s ongoing commitment to maintaining its strong investment-grade credit rating.

The improvements will be delivered inside the existing footprint of the airport and are consistent with the established guidance provided by the Manchester Airport Master Plan; that growth will be phased, incremental and making best use of the existing terminal campus area.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Today’s announcement of £1 billion of private sector investment in Manchester Airport is a massive vote of confidence in the North of England and in our plan to build a 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.

“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.”

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, 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.

“Today, we’re setting out how the airport will contribute to the development of a Northern Powerhouse and demonstrating the dynamic, can-do spirit that sums up the region. The Transformation Programme will ensure Manchester Airport plays its full part in driving economic growth and develops as a key part of the UK transport infrastructure, within a nationwide network of competing airports.

“We continue to work closely with our airline partners to ensure that their requirements and those of their passengers will be fully catered for, both during the programme design and build and upon its completion.

“Over the next 10 years, the airport will continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North, and these enhancements will enable us to further adapt, modernise and transform the customer service experience we are able to offer.”