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£1Bn transformation of Manchester Airport taking shape
- September 6, 2018

Manchester Airport has celebrated a year of construction as the largest investment programme in its 80 year history takes shape.

Once complete, Manchester Airport will have invested an astonishing £1 billion to transform Terminal 2 into a brand new operational HQ – boosting the building’s size by 150% in the process. Already the airport’s skyline has changed dramatically as the first pier is built and over 70% of the steelwork required for the extension is erected.

Around 1,200 people are working on site currently – including 80 apprentices, in trades ranging from plumbing and scaffolding to quantity surveying and civil engineering. At the project’s peak in early 2019 almost 1,500 people will be working on site, with 150 apprentices targeted.

Celebrating the achievement, Andrew Cowan – CEO of Manchester Airport – said: “This is the largest investment ever made in the airport and will transform the experience for our passengers and airlines alike, as well as creating job and training opportunities for local people and boosting businesses working on the scheme in the process.

“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 in 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 its delivering for not only people securing jobs on the site but also the companies from across the north working on the scheme.”

The first pier is expected to open to passengers in April 2019. At 216 metres long it would be the tallest building in Manchester if stood upright. The terminal extension remains on course to open in 2020.

To enable the new pier and terminal extension to be built, work has also progressed on the airfield proper. During the first phase of airfield works the apron will be extended to the west; including new taxiways and apron reconfiguration to allow the pier and additional aircraft stands to be used.

Following the terminal extension, the next pier is scheduled to open in 2022 and the refurbishment of the existing Terminal 2 building will also complete that year. Terminal 1 is currently scheduled to close by 2023, while a third pier set to open in 2024. Once completed, Terminal 2 will have the capacity to handle over 35 million passengers per year.

Bryan Glass, Laing O’Rourke Project Director, said: “We’re on schedule to deliver the transformation of Terminal 2 and that certainty of delivery has been driven by our offsite construction approach, with elements of the project manufactured offsite 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.”

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