Manchester Airport Departure Lounge CGI December 2019
Manchester Airport has revealed a first look at the £1bn Terminal Two terminal, including the departure lounge

Manchester Airport unveils latest designs in £1bn revamp

Dan Whelan

Manchester Airport has released images and a video of its under-construction passenger terminal, as it presses ahead with plans to complete the airport expansion project by 2024.

The £1bn transformation project, which began in 2017, is set to be fully completed by 2024 with the first phase of the Terminal Two extension project set to open in 2020.

The security hall, departure lounge, immigration hall and arrivals hall will open next summer, while other facilities, such as island check-in desks and baggage reclaim facilities, will open later in the year.

The UK’s third-largest airport this week released images showing what passengers can expect once the project is complete.

Among the planned features of the rejuvenated airport is a honeycomb light installation with more than 16 million settings to illuminate the departure lounge, plus an 900 sq ft digital screen which will provide entertainment and information for passengers.

Meanwhile, a five-minute video illustrates the construction being undertaken by contractor Laing O’Rourke.

Once completed, the new ‘super terminal’ will be home to 15 new food and beverage outlets including a Wagamama, KFC, two M&S Simply Food outlets and an Amber Alehouse run by local brewers Seven Brothers.

The new-look Terminal Two will also provide a substantial retail offering including a WH Smiths, Dixons travel and JD Sports – the latter of which is scheduled to open its largest ever airport-based store within the new development.

Once complete, the terminal will be 150% bigger than the current building.

Andrew Cowan, chief executive  of Manchester Airport, said: “Our £1bn transformation will allow us to continue playing our role as the UK’s global gateway in the North, offering our 29.5m annual passengers and the entire region a world class airport.

“We’re delighted with the progress that’s been made on the project.  The new extension will offer a real step change to our passengers with state-of-the-art facilities and a great selection of shops and restaurants for them to enjoy.”

A total of £688m has been spent on the project so far, Manchester Airport said, and around 1,800 jobs have been created during the process.

Click any image to enlarge

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Looks like the LSH departures room!

By Inspector

Got to be honest, the designs both inside and outside look completely underwhelming – Manchester deserves better.

By Manc Man

Look great and a huge improvement on what we currently have. As long as it’s modern, accessible and functional that’s all that matters in my opinion. Manc Man, what more do you want for the few hours you spend there flying out/back from your holidays!?

By Steve

Awful, such a wasted opportunity. Spaces more like a refurbished Arndale centre.

By Neil

Look at all that beautiful daylight coming through!

By Aaron

Use Manchester airport around 4 times a year however charging for dropping off passengers and picking up is a nightmare and a rip off with £4:50 a time and the 15 minute walk from aircraft to passport control and then the long walk to be picked up.

By Len Phillips

Certainly no one seems to have thought about passenger travelator for elderly, disabled, walking impaired people etc. The walk from the far side of the airport from incoming flights to terminal 2 is unacceptable and needs urgent planning attention.

By David Robinson

We’re talking about an airport servicing 30m people per annum here. I’ve not visited a similar size airport anywhere in the world which doesn’t require some relatively lengthy distances to gates etc. Having said that, more glass & natural light please MAN…oh too late!

By Anon

They should have invested in staff. Baggage handling is appalling. The food outlet in terminal 1 is a complete rip off and very poor quality. I prefer liverpool or Birmingham airports. The whole Manchester airport experience is a disapointment from start to finish.

By Del Williams

I’ve never heard such a bunch of misinformed moaners in my life! How about you wait until the transformation is complete and then pass comment before making assumptions before you even know what the finished product is like. Beggars belief!

By Steve

Welcome to the Arndale Centre.

By Elephant

It’s not about moaning, I get that I am not going to live at the airport and will only be there for a few hours at a time. However this does not mean that the building has to be so sterile and unimaginative. Public buildings of this type should be welcoming, as well as being functional. I’m only going off the images supplied, but that main image looks like a shopping centre from the 1970’s. I’m not expecting something like the pure indulgence of Singapore’s Changi Airport, but surely we can do better that this.

By Manc Man

People are complaining about having to walk past the new extension to get to the new pier (or vice versa) ? It’s not open yet…hence the long walk at the moment. Bizarre.

By Anon

In an era where a city’s airport is built with grand architecture as a statement about the city and country for new arrivals or a last sight before departure, our new terminal would clearly sit in the lower end of the scale defined by mediocrity and blandness. This is an era where airports have grand spaces, high ceilings and lots of glass to bring in natural light – here we have crampt spaces, low ceilings and little or no glass. It’s like the complete opposite of modern airport design – we do things differently here – that’s certainly true in this airport. Having just passed through Munich Airport and arrived back to our current horrid joke, this new terminal will be a huge imrpovement over the embarrassment we currently have, but visitors will still notice its blandness and it may be their first or last impression of our city and country. It will tell them what to expect of us. We should have done better than this.


Seems to have been value engineered at every corner. The spaces themselves look tight, small and awkward – hoping it’ll turn out much better.

By Mr Bland

Great – any chance the travelators will be repaired/replaced – how about a monorail?

I dont ever recall a time when the travelators didwork??

By Dave