Manchester Airport is investing £1bn over the next 10 years to improve facilities for passengers.
The transformation programme, which has been welcomed by MPs and airline chiefs, is a series of 60 enhancements including an expansion of Terminal 2, a new high-tech security hall and 50 food and retail outlets. Other improvements include a facility allowing passengers to clear immigration and customs before boarding flights to the US. There will also be quicker transport links between Terminal 2 and 3.
“The investment, which will completely transform Manchester Airport and double its capacity, will help ensure that it continues to compete with global airports across the world,” says Chancellor George Osborne.
The project, which is set to create 1,500 jobs in the area, is aimed at attracting airlines and adding new long-haul routes to Asia and the US.
Manchester Airport already serves more than 70 airlines and 210 destinations – and brings £1.8bn to the regional economy every year. The airport currently employs 20,000 people on site and supports a further 25,000 indirectly.
It is also the only airport outside London with direct routes to Miami, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Singapore, Atlanta, Washington and Boston.
“We’re setting out how the airport will contribute to the development of a Northern Powerhouse and demonstrating the dynamic, can-do spirit that sums up the region,” says Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group. “Without doubt, with this level of investment Manchester will become one of the most modern and customer-focused airports in Europe, demonstrating the importance of Manchester as a global gateway,” he adds.
The work on the airport will be phased to ensure minimal disruption to passengers and airlines.