A £1bn ten-year transformation plan for Manchester Airport has been unveiled, designed to double capacity and provide a direct linkage between Terminals 2 and 3 without expanding the size of the site.
The Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G), which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, said the £1bn programme would transfer all airlines under a phased process from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, which will become the primary building or ‘front door’ of the new facility.
Terminal 1 will be phased out by 2022 while Terminal 2 increases its size by around 140% under the programme, which will start enabling works between January and April 2016 and is scheduled to be complete by 2025.
Chancellor George Osborne said the announcement was ‘a massive vote of confidence in the North of England and in our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse’.
‘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. It will play a key role in this one nation government’s plan to rebalance the UK economy and boost productivity and is fantastic news for working people across the North.’
An MAG spokesman revealed that the cash for the transformation scheme would come in part from existing investment capital, together with funding generated by the airport’s growth over the next decade.
‘There may be some extra borrowing but it would not be significant and would not affect our credit rating,’ he added.
Included in the plan for what is already the UK’s third largest airport are access road improvements, new technology in an enlarged security hall that will screen more passengers quicker, customer service enhancements such as self-service check-in facilities and ‘future-proofing’ for greater ‘flexibility and resilience’.
MAG estimates that by 2050 the number of passengers using the airport every year will more than double from 23 million to 55 million.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, added: ‘Manchester Airport plays a vital economic role in the region in which it serves. Its annual passenger numbers last year topped a record 22 million and it provides jobs for 20,000 people on site and a further 25,000 indirectly.
‘Greater Manchester and the rest of the North West is increasingly competing on an international stage and an airport that is better suited to serving these global aspirations will significantly improve the impact the region can have in attracting inward and outward investment, helping it to realise its full economic potential and create further jobs and opportunities.’
M.A.G is privately managed on behalf of its shareholders:
IFM Investors - 35.5%
Manchester City Council - 35.5%
The other 9 Greater Manchester Councils - 29%.
· The Borough Council of Bolton
· The Borough Council of Bury
· The Oldham Borough Council
· The Rochdale Borough Council
· The Council of the City of Salford
· The Metropolitan Borough Council of Stockport
· The Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
· The Trafford Borough Council
· The Wigan Borough Council