Manchester Airport marks hat-trick of milestones in £1bn transformation

Manchester Airport is celebrating three milestones in its £1 billion (€1.1bn) transformation programme.

Firstly, a topping out ceremony was held for the extension to Terminal Two, which has reached its highest point after just over a year of construction. The terminal is more than doubling in size through the project.

Manchester Airport has held a topping out ceremony for the extension to Terminal Two, which has reached its highest point after just over a year of construction.

Secondly, a 45m, 85 tonne bridge that will connect the terminal extension with the new multi-storey car park has been lifted into place. It took four days and two cranes to install the link, which will open to passengers when the extension opens in 2020.

Finally, the main structural work has also been completed on the car park building and will be fully finished by the middle of next year.

“It is exciting to mark these milestones, as they demonstrate how much progress has been made on our transformation programme since starting work just more than a year ago,” says Andrew Cowan, CEO Manchester Airport. “Hopefully this gives our customers an appreciation of how soon they will be able to start making use of these new state-of-the-art facilities. This scheme will be transformational, not just in terms of the buildings being created, but the experience we will be able to deliver to passengers and airlines. It is also making a major contribution to skills and employment in the region, and that is why it was great to share the occasion with many of the people who are working on the project.”

Around 9,100 pieces of steelwork have been installed on the extension and once complete it will be more than 86,000sqm. The extension is set over five floors and will see 844 glass panels installed to provide passengers with panoramic views of the airfield.

Work is now commencing to make the building water-tight, before fitting out for passengers to use from 2020. It will have an extra 60 retail and F&B units. As well as high street retailers, the airport is keen to have a wide range of independent and local brands.

As the project reaches its peak at the beginning of next year, there will be nearly 1,500 people working onsite, with a target of 150 apprentices. The scheme is also benefiting local suppliers and SMEs across. Since the first spade went in the ground, £220 million (€250m) has been spent with the supply chain within a 35-mile radius of the airport, many of whom are SMEs.

“We began construction works last summer, so to see the main structures of the multi-storey car park and new terminal extension reach their highest points – with a link bridge successfully installed – is incredible,” says Bryan Glass, Programme Director, Laing O’Rourke. “It’s testament to the hard work of all the skilled construction and engineering professionals working every day out onsite, to our supply chain, consultant partners and of course to our client, Manchester Airport.”

The main structural work has been completed on the car park building and will be fully finished by the middle of next year.

The first pier is set to open in April 2019 and will shortly start to undergo operational readiness trials. Work has also been progressing on the airfield to help maximise the terminal capacity. In the first phase of airfield works, the apron has been extended to the west to include new taxiways and aircraft stands around the new pier.

The second phase, which began in June 2018 involves a new taxiway, increasing the capacity of existing taxiways, new aircraft stands and AGL replacement and installation, and is part of the reconfiguration of the airfield that will help to feed the redeveloped Terminal Two.

Looking further ahead, after the terminal extension the next pier is scheduled to open in 2022. Terminal One is currently scheduled to close by 2023 with the third pier set to open in 2024. The fully redeveloped terminal will be capable of handling 45 million passengers in 2024.

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