MAG invests £440m in Manchester Airport

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MAG (Manchester Airports Group) has invested £440m (US$544m) in the final phase of its £1.3bn (US$1.6bn) Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).

MAN-TP was first announced in 2015 with a 10-year vision to update the customer experience at the Northern hub and unlock the potential of its two full-length runways. The first phase saw Terminal 2 double in size. This latest investment is to complete the transformation of Terminal 2, improving the passenger journey – from check-in to baggage reclaim – and upgrading its airfield to cater for next-generation aircraft.

Enabling works for the second phase of the project are already underway, and planned improvements include doubling the size of the existing departure lounge, with a wider selection of shops and food and drink outlets. MAG has also begun the construction of an additional security hall, fitted with next-generation security scanners. Additionally, a new pier is being built to match the look and feel of the first pier that opened in 2019. It will include spacious gates. A new dual taxiway system will improve airfield efficiency, with flexible aircraft stands. The company will also double the terminal’s hold baggage capacity to over 5,000 bags per hour, with two new teardrop check-in islands.

MAG estimates that on completion in 2025, around 80% of all passengers will use the expanded Terminal 2, with Terminal 1 set to close – 63 years after it was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1962. More than 500 jobs will be created in the construction phase alone, while an independent analysis – by aviation consultant York Aviation – showed that around 16,400 extra jobs would be generated by 2040 as a result of the economic activity stimulated by the expansion of the airport and its route network. The same research revealed that Manchester Airport’s current contribution to the Northern economy of £3.5bn (US$4.3bn) is expected to rise by nearly 80%, to £6.3bn (US$7.8bn) by 2040 as a result of the full delivery of the transformation program. A further £2.9bn (US$3.5bn) boost will be triggered through the increased productivity of businesses traveling and trading globally through Manchester over the same period.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, said, “Manchester Airport is a key economic asset for the North, and this investment will maximize the contribution it makes to creating a balanced and globally competitive UK economy. Our £1.3bn [US$1.6bn] transformation program demonstrates our long-term commitment to providing a great airport experience for passengers who travel through Manchester. I’m delighted to be announcing the go-ahead for the final phase, which will open in 2025, connecting the people and businesses of the North to dozens more global destinations, and creating jobs and stimulating increased levels of trade and tourism.”

Chris Woodroofe, managing director of Manchester Airport, commented, “It is hugely exciting to be announcing this significant investment in Manchester Airport. It represents a major milestone in the history of both our airport and the region as a whole. By completing the transformation of Terminal 2, we will not only be offering passengers across the North an unrivaled choice of destinations but also providing them with world-class facilities and a great overall experience when they travel through Manchester. I cannot wait to see the plans come to fruition, for the benefit of all of our customers, colleagues and supporters.”

Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, stated, “Manchester Airport is a massive asset to our city region, connecting those living and working here to global destinations, as well as helping attract visitors, tourists and inward investment. The further investment in the Manchester Airport transformation program will enhance Greater Manchester’s international credentials and make a major contribution to the Northern economy. The project is also doing a huge amount to create employment for people from all backgrounds and providing training that will ensure it leaves a skills legacy for future generations.”

Cllr Bev Craig, leader of Manchester city council, said, “We welcome this important investment in a thriving future for Manchester Airport. It is a boost not just for the airport itself but for Manchester, and Greater Manchester, as a whole. The airport is a vital asset that helps attract employment and investment to the city and supports tens of thousands of jobs, both directly and through the wider visitor economy. Having this global connectivity is a major competitive advantage for Manchester. As well as boosting the airport, this next phase of the transformation program will also create thousands of jobs that Manchester people can access, including young people getting started in their careers. This scale of investment, underpinned by a long-term vision to transform the airport and its facilities, is a real statement of confidence.”

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