Manchester Airport opens first phase of billion-dollar transformation program

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Manchester Airport, UK, is celebrating the completion of the first major phase of its £1bn (US$1.3bn) transformation program. The new 216m (709ft) pier, which is part of Terminal 2 (T2), provides extensive panoramic views of the airfield and will be used by all airlines currently operating out of the terminal.

Andrew Cowan, CEO 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 (US$1.3bn) transformation program.”

The pier has been built with more than 300 individual panes of glass and is equipped with 11 gates and airbridges, more than 1,400 seats and stylish wayfinding throughout.

The opening marks the next phase of the airport’s transformation program that will see T2 become the focal point of its operations. More than 1,750 people are currently working on the project which recently welcomed its 100th apprentice as work gathers pace. Over the coming weeks more and more flights will gradually move over to the new pier as it becomes fully operational.

The next phase of the transformation is the extension to the existing T2 building. Work is well underway and will see the terminal more than double in size. The extension will open in summer 2020 with 40 plus new food and beverage outlets and shops, followed by a further 40 when the existing building is fully refurbished.

Dawn Wilson, managing director TUI Airways, said, “It’s a real honor to be part of this landmark occasion at Manchester Airport – a major hub for TUI Airways. To operate the first flights from the new Pier One is a proud moment, and another first to add to the list of memories and history we have at Manchester.

Peter Jones, operations leader for Laing O’Rourke, said, “It is a significant achievement to have the pier, link bridge and multistory 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 minimize disruption to passengers and staff, while delivering new facilities for Manchester Airport on time.

“We are now looking ahead to the completion of the T2 extension which is due to be handed over to Manchester Airports Group next year.”

The investment in Manchester Airport will provide major improvements to the customer experience with new security halls and the latest technological advancements. Once the Terminal 2 extension opens for summer 2020 the existing building will close for refurbishment and then due to reopen in 2022. Further piers will open in 2022 and 2024.

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Dan joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As assistant editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editors with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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