Phase one complete on airport programme

Manchester Airport has announced the completion of the first major phase of its £1bn transformation programme.

Passengers flying out of Manchester this morning used the new 216m pier connecting to Terminal 2 for the first time. The pier project has taken 18 months to complete. A multistorey car park has also been completed within phase one.

Peter Jones, operations leader for main contractor Laing O’Rourke, said: “It is a significant achievement to have the pier, link bridge and multi-storey car park ready for airport guests within 18 months. The project’s design, construction methods and logistics were all planned digitally before construction on the edge of the live airfield began.

“Our digital engineering approach meant we, and our project partners were able to work together efficiently; putting productive solutions in place to minimise disruption to passengers and staff, while delivering new facilities for Manchester Airport on time.”

More than 1,750 people are currently working on the airport project. Work is under way on the next phase due for completion, the extension to the existing Terminal 2, which will double its size. Completion is due in summer 2020, at which point it will have  40-plus additional F&B outlets and shops, followed by a further 40 when the existing building is fully refurbished

Andrew Cowan, chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “Today is a significant milestone for Manchester Airport as we deliver the first phase of the biggest investment we have made in our 80 year history.

“We are delighted to wave off the first handful of flights from the new pier, as we build up to bringing it into full operation in the days ahead. What that means is our customers can start to enjoy the new facilities, at the same time as getting a taste of what to expect from the next stages of our £1bn transformation programme.”

Once the Terminal Two extension opens for Summer 2020 the existing building will close for refurbishment with it due to reopen in 2022.  Further piers will open in 2022 and 2024.

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Great to hear this , but until they sort out the jobsworths in the security screening area , it will be better to fly from LHR .
Flew from MAN to Australia 2 months ago , long lines and at 5.30 2/3 rd of the staff left leaving two poor guys to sort out the passengers .
Flying to Japan in June from LHR !

By Graham Wilson

Why is the design so bland? Some of the less developed countries have much better designed airports than this. MAG could have done something spectacular here but instead they’ve gone for a tin shed that wouldn’t have looked out of place when the world’s first commercial flight took off. Boring and ugly.

By Anonymous

Mmm.. nice colour scheme

By Don

Just demonstrates that Manchester doesn’t really have world anything, and doesn’t really aim to – it has the mass to have major infrastructure, but not much is done particularly well. Cheap and functional, like the city itself (very sadly!).

By Grim

Agree with the other comments here. I was really excited about the Transformation Programme when it was announced but all we’re getting is something cheap and functional. Manchester will never make it to the world city we keep hearing about when things as important as an airport look like they’ve been value engineered to death.

By Mancunian

Still leagues better than LJLA and every single airport outside London.

It may be cheap and functional but this has been privately funded and reflects the mix and price sensitivity of the carriers and operations based there. Unlike in certain other cities there is no expectation of government handouts to make things happen.

By Ringo

Yawn. Utter mediocrity being trumpeted simply because it is “local”. How very League of Gentlemen. A local airport for local people. Nothing world class about the airport or the grubby money grabbing attitude it exudes from the moment you have the misfortune to scrabble your way to its front door….

By A Developer

Oh no! The anoraks are on here again, whats LJLA got to do with this?

By Seat by the Window

@Ringo as someone who lives near Chester I’d much rather fly out of LJLA any day. Far more relaxed, easier and pleasurable experience than Manchester Airport. That said, trying to deflect onto other airports still doesn’t make this extremely bland tin shed any better, its looks depressing, clinical and cold.

By Zippy

You can’t compare LJLA as it’s a small airport with very few destinations. It’s like saying your favourite airport is Newquay Cornwall as it’s so quiet and relaxed

By Jen

@Jen allow me to disagree. As a punter who uses both M/cr and LJLA regularly I can and do compare them and three times out of four I choose Liverpool. I can fly to 71 destinations, many of which are capital cities, and there’s none of the aggro you get at Manchester because it’s so busy. For European destinations Liverpool is just a far more pleasant place to fly from.

Where Manchester scores is long haul and that’s not going to change. Thing is, it gets the old fleets and grizzled staff whereas Dublin and Heathrow get the shiny new planes with the best crews. I usually hop over to Dublin and take my long haul from there as a consequence.

By Sceptical

Comparing Manchester with any regional city airport is pointless. Some of the bitchy comments on here are quite pathetic. It is head and shoulders above every airport outside London and trying to make out that Liverpool and Leeds/ Bradford are better is desperate parochialism. They are fine if you want to go to Alicante.These other cities in the North will soon be Manchester’s job fodder the way it is expanding. Not just the airport but the whole conurbation.

By Elephant

I fly from Leeds Bradford, that’s the best one

By Podolski

@Elephant, who rattled your cage? This is why the arrogance of some Manchester posters annoys the rest of the NW.Don’t just stop at the region, you have the whole world to take over or do you know your the limits of your own self inflated ego?

By Jumbo

Why is success always belittled in this country? people in the North should be glad of Manchester airport. It is a rare economic success up here. Do you think that we should all fly from Doncaster just to keep people with no limits beyond their own street happy? If that terminal had been built in solid gold and the toilets had been studded in diamonds someone on here would have found fault, because it is Manchester. Rather than slating Manchester, why don’t these other cities try to emulate it? The fact that the rest of the cities in the North have smaller airports ,they don’t have the BBC, have no proper transport connections, is not Manchester’s fault but their own. Manchester is not London which gets everything with no effort, it has prospered through sheer hard work, lobbying, working intelligently with the governments over the years for the better good and having people in the surrounding boroughs on side with the savvy to know that to prosper they must be part of the bigger picture. God I despair at this petty parochialism up here.

By Elephant

Pointless bickering, both LJLA and Manchester have strengths, if either gets better that’s a good thing for the NorthWest. Sceptical’s point on Dublin is a good one, it’s a very convenient hub for transatlantic travel if you are based outside the South East, no room for complacency.

By Rich X

I also prefer to fly form Liverpool because I LOVE the donuts.
Manchester just doesn’t compare.

By Homer Simpson

One picture of an airport lounge and the Manchester haters start slating and comparing to smaller airports.
Why don’t the other cities put something forward? Oh wait they’re all too busy moaning on Place North West.

By Typical

Great point, well put. This is one of the main reasons the city is prospering at the likely expense of others …….. ‘Manchester is not London which gets everything with no effort, it has prospered through sheer hard work, lobbying, working intelligently with the governments over the years for the better good and having people in the surrounding boroughs on side with the savvy to know that to prosper they must be part of the bigger picture’

By Giraffe

Pleased Manchester is expanding….good for long range travel…which boosts regional economy ..but I travel in Europe 7/8 times a year ….and will always use Liverpool cos it’s easy , fast ,convenient and the staff much friendlier

By Graham

Giraffe, and by plagiarism too!!!!


@Typical, giving an opinion of the design of this terminal makes you ‘a Manchester hater’. Have a word with yourself. This looks cheap and dull, I’m sure it functions just fine, but maybe you have lower expectations of what could be done…

By Zippy

How can Liverpool or Leeds be more convenient when you either have to get a bus, taxi or drive to get there? How will that be better for somebody flying into or out of Leeds?

By Loganberry

The proof of importance is the investment around these airports. THG did not open their campus at Leeds/Bradford did they. The Chinese did not build an 800 million pound business park at Liverpool did they. Leeds/Bradford is in the middle of nowhere and hard to get to, even by car.

By Elephant

I just had a word with myself and you’re right. I guess I just don’t have your vision of what an airport lounge should look like. I mean the seats are just so last year.

By Typical

This was a run of the mill conversation, then Ringo got his big stick out and stirred it, the comments were sort of balanced up till then, it was more of an aesthetic discussion.But it turned very parochial and showed how sensitive some people are and react to any observations or personal choices if they dare to critcise any inanimate part of their world? Some posters need a visit to the vet on this site?

By John,Paul and George

Elephant. Manchester will not suck everything in for ever. It has expanded – airport and city – largely because it is centrally located not because it’s anything special. People need to accept we are not all Manchester centric.

By Roscoe

@Loganberry, how can having to travel half way across the country by train, if they are running, or full to capacity with children and bags at awkward times of the day then returning late at night and then having to do the same waiting for connections and getting home in the early hours how convenient is that? Just because some plane spotters want everybody to use Manchester airport. All the other airports in the North are convenient for people who live nearby them and for times of travel, its up to the individual traveller where they want to fly from, and not forced to by airlines who don’t care about the inconvenience they cause.

By It's up to them.

@ By it’s up to them. How do you think people get to Heathrow and Gatwick? Walk? It takes at least an hour to get from half of London to Heathrow. Why on earth would a US airline fly at a quarter full 3/4 times a day at reasonable hours from Doncaster because it’s more convenient for the people of South Yorkshire?!

By Loganberry

I am not disagreeing with that Roscoe. The success of Manchester however, is down to the dynamism of its local leadership, courting Westminster politicians and working hard to take the conurbation forward with the surrounding boroughs. This has not happened with other Northern cities. They have consistently whined rather than doing. Look at the ridiculous debacle in West Yorkshire when nobody could agree on anything around Devolution.

By Elephant

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