Manchester Airport Group
Manchester Airport's Deputy CEO Ken OToole at the groundbreaking ceremony..
The third busiest airport in the UK, Manchester (MAN), has begun work on the most significant new structure in the second and final phase of the airport’s £1.3 billion ($1.65 billion) transformation program (MAN-TP), first announced in 2015. The 10-year project is designed to revolutionize the passenger experience at the global gateway.
More than 500 jobs are being created during the construction phase of the project but it will eventually generate up to 16,400 jobs by 2040, according to independent analysis from York Aviation. It predicts that Manchester Airport’s current contribution to the UK’s northern economy of £3.5 billion is expected to soar by nearly 80%, to £6.3 billion by 2040 as a result of the full delivery of the program.
A further £2.9 billion boost will be triggered through the increased productivity of businesses traveling and trading globally through Manchester over the same period.
MAN—owned by Manchester Airport Group (MAG) which also owns London Stansted and East Midlands airports—said the new pier will mirror Terminal 2’s Pier 1, which opened in 2019. It will provide 12 new boarding gates, flexible aircraft stands for next-gen aircraft, and will also be equipped to handle the Airbus A380.
Terminal 2’s first phase enabled it to double in size when it opened in the summer of 2021. The second phase will see the original building upgraded with a second security hall and a new-look, extended departure lounge, along with reconfigurations of the airfield to make operations more efficient.
Upon completion in 2025, around 80% of all passengers will use the expanded Terminal 2, which will also boast 27 new shops, bars, and restaurants, including a high-street-style shopping area, a champagne bar, and a food hall.
The new retail offer is expected to be of a world-class standard with a mixed price range.
Tenders for these units are still in progress with contract lengths of between five and seven years. T2 serves a mix of long-haul destinations and more traditional holiday getaways with a varied passenger profile from summer vacationers to business travelers heading to Beijing and Singapore. Therefore, the retail brands the airport is looking to attract will span a wide spectrum, from aspirational boutiques to well-known high street labels.
MAG Deputy CEO Ken O’Toole—who will become Group CEO from October 1—was on hand to put the first spade in the ground, as work started on the pier. He said: “Our transformation program is the largest investment ever made in Manchester Airport. We are already seeing the benefits of the first phase, with passengers and airlines providing excellent feedback on our extended Terminal 2.”
According to UK Aviation Minister, Baroness Vere, the airport’s new pier is set to “cut emissions by 40%” and will be a significant milestone for the aviation industry and a showcase for UK technology.
Mace is the lead construction contractor on the project, and Carl Dainter, Head of Global Aviation for Mace Consult, said: “This phase is giving us the opportunity to implement ideas, methodologies, and solutions that will allow us to speed up delivery, reduce carbon and, crucially, minimize impact to the live airfield operations.”