Manchester Airport unveils progress on £1 billion expansion

4 Dec 2019 by Hannah Brandler
Departure lounge

Manchester Airport has released new images and a video revealing the progress made on its £1 billion expansion, with £688 million so far spent on the project.

Images and a video released by the airport shows the additional facilities that passengers can expect when they begin to use the new terminal next summer.

Features include a honeycomb light installation in the departure lounge, which changes colour throughout the day thanks to its 16 million settings, and a 83 sqm digital screen in the centre of the lounge, providing entertainment and information to passengers. Families will also be able to use a new children’s play area.

Departure Lounge

Business Traveller took a tour of the site this summer to look at how the project will transform the passenger experience from Manchester.

The new departure lounge also has a variety of new  shops, including WHSmith, Dixons Travel, and the largest airport JD Sports store in the UK. These will join the 15 new food and beverage outlets set to open in the terminal.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said:

“We’re delighted with the progress that’s been made on the project and we can’t wait for passengers to experience the new facilities next summer. The new extension will offer a real step change to our passengers with state-of-the-art facilities and a great selection of shops and restaurants for them to enjoy.”

The airport has released a video to show its progress so far:

The first phase of the Terminal 2 extension is due to open in July 2020, with a new security hall, departure lounge, immigration hall, arrivals hall and bus gate lounge. The new check-in desk banks and baggage reclaim facilities will then open.

The airport will close parts of the existing Terminal 2 so that it can be reconfigured to align with the new facilities.

The complete Terminal 2 will then reopen in 2022, 150 per cent bigger than the original, with 32 new shops and food and beverage outlets. Pier Two will also open at this point and will be able to handle the A380 – and will also include new airline lounges. The remaining terminal and airfield infrastructure is set to open in 2024.

Arrivals hall

The entire extension is set to achieve BREEAM status thanks to its sustainability credentials. Further eco-friendly features include fixed electric ground power points on all new stands, meaning that aircraft don’t have to leave their engines running when parked, and a more efficient combined heat and power system. Read more about the sustainable efforts made by airports in our feature “Airport sustainability: From the ground up.

Passengers with accessibility requirements have also been consulted throughout the development, with changes made to signage and colour schemes as a result. Manchester was ranked “needing improvement” in the Civil Aviation Authority’s annual accessibility assessment of UK airports.

Jack Thomas from Manchester Airport’s Passenger User Group commented:

“The airport has engaged with members of its Passenger User-group throughout and we have been pleased to make a number of suggestions along the way, as well as providing advice on issues such as disability access.”

We reported on the opening of the first phase of the programme in April 2019, which featured the first passenger pier and a new 3,800 space multi-storey car park.

The airport has also seen the opening of new private terminal Premiair, and the launch of a luggage collection service with Airportr. Virgin Atlantic has also confirmed that it will open a Clubhouse at Manchester Airport next spring.

Read about the other planned UK airport expansions in our feature “The Capacity Challenge.

Loading comments...

Search Flight

See a whole year of Reward Seat Availability on one page at

Business Traveller UK September 2023 edition
Business Traveller UK September 2023 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below