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20 February, 2020

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20 February, 2020


One year into construction on £1bn transformation programme


Manchester Airport is marking one year of construction on the biggest investment project in its history – and has released some stunning images and video footage showing the work completed so far.

The transformation is costing a whopping £1bn and will see Terminal 2 become 150% bigger than it currently is – becoming the focal point of the airport’s operations.


Time-lapse footage has been released showing how the project has progressed over the past 12 months.


A new video tour has also been released, giving passengers a chance to glimpse into the airport’s future.


The programme got under way a year ago after a visit by the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling.

Since then, the airport’s skyline has changed dramatically, as the first pier has been built and over 70% of the steelwork has been erected on the terminal extension.

It’s one of the largest construction programmes in the North of England and there are currently 1,200 people working on site.

This figures includes 80 apprentices, in trades ranging from plumbing and scaffolding to quantity surveying and civil engineering.

At the project’s peak (expected to be at the beginning of 2019) nearly 1,500 people will be working on site, with a target of 150 apprentices.

Since the first spade went in the ground, £185m has been spent with SMEs in the supply chain within a 35-mile radius of the airport.

Bosses say that more than £1m per day is being spent on the project.


So far on the project, on the terminal extension and pier:

  • 14,500 pieces of steel have been installed
  • More than 6,700 components (such as precast concrete delta beams, wall panels, and mega-risers) have been manufactured offsite ready for on-site assembly
  • More than 41,000m3 of concrete have been placed
  • 1,745 miles of cable have been placed

Meanwhile, out on the airfield:

  • Over 35,000sqm of lean mix and pavement quality concrete (PQC) has been placed, the equivalent of five football pitches
  • A further 55sqm of pavement quality concrete will be laid in the first phase
  • Around 10,000m of ducts for Aeronautical Ground lights (AGL) and power have been constructed
  • The first airfield stands were handed back in May and June


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.”



The first pier is set to open to passengers in April 2019. The terminal extension is on course to open in 2020.

Looking further ahead, after the terminal extension the next pier is scheduled to open in 2022 and the refurbishment of the existing Terminal 2 building will also be completed that year.

Terminal 1 is currently scheduled to close by 2023 with the third pier set to open in 2024.

Once completed, Terminal 2 will have capacity to handle over 35 million passengers a year.