See how Manchester Airport’s new £1bn super terminal is coming along

This huge building site will become Manchester Airport’s new £1bn ‘Super Terminal’ – and the region’s biggest ever construction project.

Foundation works are now well underway, with a mammoth tower crane and numerous diggers on the 900,000 sq ft site.

There are currently around 300 workers in action working on demolition, piling and foundations.

But when the project reaches peak productivity there will be 1,500 on the site – with 150 apprentices.

With a completion date of 2020 for expanded Terminal Two, it’s such a fast-moving scheme that on the busiest days it will cost its investors up to £1m a day.

By 2019, major changes will be noticeable.

The entire project, including the demolition of Terminal One, a new car park and access roads, should be complete by 2023.

Work to construct a new super terminal at Manchester Airport
Work to construct a new super terminal at Manchester Airport
(Image: Vincent Cole)

The plan, led by Dutch firm Arcadis, comes with the promise of faster check-in and security checks, as well as a speedier journey through immigration and baggage claim.

Terminal Two’s extension will be built with double height ceilings, lots of glass, light and a big open space.

There will also be a new access ramp from the M56 Spur giving direct access to the new departures forecourt – built on the existing car park roof.

Manchester Airport's new Super Terminal check-in
Manchester Airport’s new Super Terminal check-in

The construction of a new pier for aircraft, one of three planned for the site, has also begun.

Among those set to work on the project are new graduates from Manchester Airport’s on-site Academy, recruited from the surrounding area.

All unemployed, they completed a tailored course run in partnership with contractor Laing O’Rourke.

The first cohort of students, who all live in Wythenshawe , Northenden , Cheadle and Baguley , will begin work in the new year.

Jack Stott, 26, from Woodhouse Park, said: “This is what I wanted to do – work for a big company like Laing O’Rourke. I’ve lived nearby all my life so this is great.

“I’m really looking forward to starting work.”

Evan O’Driscoll, 23, from Baguley, added: “I’ve always wanted to work in construction, this is perfect.”

Students graduating from the Airport Academy at Manchester Airport
Students graduating from the Airport Academy at Manchester Airport
(Image: Vincent Cole)
CEO of Manchester Airport Andrew Cowan
CEO of Manchester Airport Andrew Cowan
(Image: Vincent Cole)

Andrew Cowan, Manchester Airport’s CEO, said the transformation would give the north the ‘world class international gateway’ it deserves, adding: “It will also do a huge amount to boost the regional economy by creating jobs, tackling local unemployment and driving up skill levels, ensuring the transformation leaves a lasting legacy.”

On recent criticism over the experience for passengers while they await improvements, he added: “We are very focused on giving passengers the best possible experience we can. Clearly the main reason we are doing this project is because we know we need to upgrade our facilities. In the meantime we’re doing everything we can do make their journey as good as it can possibly be.”

Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane said: “Many people in my constituency grow up aspiring to work at the airport and it is hugely positive to see schemes like this making that a reality for them.”

Work to construct a new super terminal at Manchester Airport
Work to construct a new super terminal at Manchester Airport
(Image: Vincent Cole)

Bryan Glass from Laing O’Rourke said they were supporting local people into work.

Those students who don’t win a place with Laing O’Rourke will be passed to the firm’s recruitment team to be found temporary work elsewhere.

Hub bosses hope to handle 45m passengers a year in the future – nearly 20m more than currently.

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