Manchester Airport (IATA: MAN, ICAO: EGCC) is an international airport in Ringway, Manchester, England, 7.5 nautical miles (13.9 km; 8.6 mi) south west of Manchester city centre. In 2015, it was the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger numbers. The airport comprises three terminals, a goods terminal and is the only British airport other than London’s Heathrow Airport to operate two runways over 3,280 yd (2,999 m) in length. Manchester Airport has flights to around 225 destinations, and the airport covers an area of 560 hectares (1,400 acres).
Officially opened on 25 June 1938, it was initially known as Ringway Airport. In World War II, as RAF Ringway, it was a base for the Royal Air Force. The airport is owned and managed by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), a holding company owned by the Australian finance house IFM Investors and the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, with Manchester City Council owning the largest stake.
The airport regularly handled the supersonic Concorde and houses the British Airways GBOAC flagship Concorde at the Manchester Runway Visitor Park. Ringway, after which the airport was named, is a village with a few buildings and church at the southern edge of the airport. The airport handled 23.1 million passengers in 2015, a record high, and has capacity for up to 50 million passengers annually. This potential figure is limited by the airport’s restriction to 61 aircraft movements per hour. Future developments include the £800 million Manchester Airport City logistics, manufacturing, office and hotel space next to the airport, and transport improvements such as the SEMMMS relief road and a High Speed 2 station.
Manchester Airport Terminals
Manchester Airport has three passenger terminals (Terminals 1, 2 and 3). Terminals 1 and 2 are linked by the skylink, with travelators to aid passengers with the 10–15minute walk. Terminal 3 is linked to Terminal 1 and the skylink by a covered walkway. The “skylink” also connects the terminals to the airport railway station complex (known as “The Station”) and the Radisson BLU Hotel. The Skylink started construction in 1996 and opened 1997. Expansion to the Radisson Hotel was completed in 1998 when the hotel opened.
Terminal 1 is used by airlines with scheduled and charter operations, flying to European and other worldwide destinations. It is the largest terminal at the airport. It was opened in 1962, by Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and it is a base for EasyJet, Jet2 and Thomas Cook. Some other airlines that fly out of Terminal 1 include Air Transat Brussels Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Swiss, TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines. Terminal 1 is spread over an area of 110,000 m2 (1,200,000 sq ft).
The terminal has 2 Piers of which combined have 29 stands, of which 15 have air bridges, and is the largest of the three terminals. Gate 12 was specially adapted to accommodate the Airbus A380 which is operated by Emirates on their route from Dubai to Manchester. Terminal 1’s current capacity is around 11 million passengers a year, compared with an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers when it first opened.
In the Summer of 2009, a £50 million redevelopment programme for Terminal 1 was completed, which included a new £14 million 14lane security area. Terminal 1 will not be included in the 10 Year Airport expansion project, and will be closed and demolished by around 2022. However Pier B in Terminal 1 is due to be kept and will be entirely rebuilt.
Terminal 2 is used by a variety of airlines, operating both charter and scheduled flights to many European and worldwide destinations. It opened in 1993 and it is a base for Monarch, Thomson Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Some other airlines that use the terminal include Air Malta, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and United Airlines. Cathay Pacific returned to the Terminal in December 2014 and operate a service to their hub at Hong Kong. Terminal 2 is spread over an area of 52,000 m2 (560,000 sq ft).
Terminal 2 has 20 gates, of which 14 have air bridges. The design of the terminal makes it capable of extensive expansion; planning permission already exists for an extension providing additional gates, together with the construction of a satellite pier. Terminal 2’s current capacity is around 8 million passengers a year, this will be extended to ultimately handle 25 million passengers a year. In 2007, an £11 million project commenced to redevelop Terminal 2 by improving security facilities and enhancing retail and catering services.
It was announced in June 2015 that the airport would have an expansion taking 10 years to complete. Terminal 2 will be the most developed, adding new piers to the terminal and also create a larger security hall as well as more outlets. There will also be a connecting hallway to Terminal 3.
Terminal 3 was opened in 1989 by Diana, Princess of Wales as ‘Terminal A’ and had many names before final redesignation as Terminal 3 in May 1998. The terminal was known in succession as “Terminal A”; “Terminal A – Domestic”; “Terminal 1A” after Terminal 2 opened in 1993; “Terminal 1A – British Airways and Domestic”; “Terminal 3 – British Airways and Domestic” before becoming simply known as Terminal 3. In June 1998, British Airways opened their new £75 million terminal facility designed by Grimshaw Architects, this being a major extension to Terminal 3, and became the primary user of the terminal along with codeshare partner airlines (Oneworld Alliance). Terminal 3 now spreads over an area of 44,400 m2 (478,000 sq ft).
British Airways currently operates a high frequency shuttle to their main hub at Heathrow Airport from Manchester Terminal 3. It operated a shuttle to its second hub at Gatwick Airport until March 2013, but the route was dropped after a fall in demand. It is now primarily a base for lowcost carriers Flybe and Ryanair. This Terminal now handles the majority of domestic routes from Manchester as well as some scheduled European flights. American Airlines operates daily flights to the USA from Terminal 3. Some other airlines that fly out of Terminal 3 include Air France, British Airways, Iberia Express and KLM.
Terminal 3 is to get a major expansion during the airport’s 10 year expansion project. The terminal is to be expanded as well as also getting a connecting hallway to Terminal 2 so passengers won’t have to change Terminals between flights.