July saw the very first passengers travelling through Manchester’s Airport’s new terminal extension, marking a major milestone in the Northern gateway’s 83-year history. Work started on the transformation in 2017 and – despite a delay of more than one year to the opening as a result of the pandemic – the facility was officially opened by Manchester Airport’s Managing Director Karen Smart and Jet2.com’s General Manager at Manchester Airport.

Over the past few weeks, passengers have had their first opportunity to sample the new terminal’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a worker bee inspired honeycomb lighting feature and a giant media wall. A range of new shops, cafes, bars and restaurants also opened their doors today, with more to open throughout the week as passenger numbers increase.

Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said “This is a hugely significant milestone for our airport, our city, the North as a whole and the wider recovery of the travel industry.

“After a hugely challenging 16 months, we are delighted to be delivering some positive news and welcoming the first passengers into our new terminal extension. When we first announced our £1bn transformation programme in 2015, we set out a vision to create state-of-the-art facilities that provided a first-class customer experience and cemented our role as the UK’s global gateway in the North.”

The expanded terminal’s light, bright and airy check-in hall sets the tone for the passenger experience, with a modern security area equipped with the latest technology, and a departure lounge packed with iconic features including a honeycomb light installation and a new 81 square metre digital screen.

A wide range of new shops, bars, cafes and restaurants will feature in the new terminal, with local brands Archie’s, The Bridgewater Exchange by Joseph Holt and Pot, Kettle, Black open initially, in addition to two new, exclusive passenger lounges.

Construction firm Laing O’Rourke has spearheaded the programme of works, supported by partners including architects Pascall + Watson, design consultancy Arcadis and airfield works contractor Galliford Try. Together with several dozen partners, in fields as varied as IT and Catering, they have successfully delivered the megaproject to specification.

More than 8,000 tonnes of steel have been used to create the new terminal extension, which is 81,000 square metres. It is large enough to accommodate Manchester United’s Old Trafford pitch 11 times over, with room to spare.

The Big Picture

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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