One year on: Manchester Airport marks construction milestone in terminal transformation program

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Manchester Airport in Northwest England is marking one year of construction on its £1bn (US$1.3bn) transformation program by releasing images showing the work completed so far. The project will see Terminal 2 (T2) increase in size by 150%, making it the focal point of the airport’s operations.

The program got under way a year ago after a visit by the UK’s secretary of state for transport, Chris Grayling. Since then, the airport’s skyline has changed dramatically as the first pier has been built and over 70% of the steelwork has been erected on the terminal extension.

There are currently 1,200 people working on-site, including 80 apprentices. This will increase to nearly 1,500 people working on-site with a target of 150 apprentices at the height of the project. Since ground was first broken, approximately £185m (US$236m) has been spent with SMEs in the supply chain within a 35-mile radius of the airport.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said, “I’m excited to see the first pier open to passengers in just eight months’ time and to press ahead with the rest of the scheme, especially the new terminal building, which is on course to be open to passengers by mid-2020.

“Walking around the site, you really get a scale for how big the project is and the benefits it’s delivering for not only people securing jobs on the site but also the companies from across the North working on the scheme.”

The first 216m (66ft) pier is set to open to passengers in April 2019, followed by the terminal extension in 2020. To enable the new pier and terminal extension to be constructed, work has also been progressing on the airfield.

In the first phase of airfield works, the apron has been extended to the west, including new taxiways and apron reconfiguration to enable the pier and additional aircraft stands to be used.

The second phase, which began in June 2018 involves a new taxiway and new aircraft stands. The work is due to be completed by July 2020.

After the terminal extension, the next pier is scheduled to open in 2022 and the refurbishment of the existing T2 building will also be completed that year. Terminal 1 (T1) is currently scheduled to close by 2023 with the third pier set to open in 2024. Once complete, T2 will have capacity to handle more than 35 million passengers a year.

Bryan Glass, project director, Laing O’Rourke, said, “We’re on schedule to deliver the transformation of T2 and that certainty of delivery has been driven by our off-site construction approach, with elements of the project manufactured off-site and assembled by our expert project team and technicians.

“There’s no room for complacency of course. Our team is focused on the next milestone – hand over of the first pier in January 2019.”

To watch a one-year time-lapse video of the Manchester Airport transformation project, click here.

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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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