Manchester Airport is a major airport in the vicinity of Manchester, England, and the largest airport in the United Kingdom outside the London region, offering non-stop scheduled flights to numerous destinations across Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Middle East and Far East.
It officially opened on 25 June 1938, and was initially known as Ringway Airport. During World War II it officially became RAF Ringway, and from 1975 until 1986 the title Manchester International Airport was used. This year Manchester Airport is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The airport complex is almost entirely located within the city of Manchester boundaries—except for a proportionally small overlap in to the Cheshire borough of Macclesfield— south by west of Manchester City Centre.
The airport is owned and managed by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which is a holding company owned by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, and is the largest British-owned airport group. Each of these councils has their coat of arms displayed on banners hung from the lamp posts approaching the airport. The airport has won numerous awards including World's Best Airport 1995 and Travel Weekly Globe Awards' UK Best Airport 2008.
Manchester Airport has a CAA Public Use Aerodrome Licence (Number P712) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers and for flying instruction. In 2007, Manchester Airport handled 22,112,625 passengers with 222,703 aircraft movements, making it the fourth busiest airport in the United Kingdom in passenger numbers and third in terms of total aircraft movements.
Construction was ceremonially started by the Lord Mayor on 28 November 1935 and was completed for civil aviation use by early summer 1938. The airport was officially opened on 25 June 1938 during a public air display and received its first scheduled flight, a KLM operated Douglas DC-2 from Amsterdam. The airport at this time was called Ringway, named after the parish it lay within. Pre-war, KLM was the only international operator out of Ringway and offered a request stop at Doncaster. 4000 passengers used the airport in 1938 and another 4000 during the first eight months of 1939, before declaration of war brought an end to civil operations.
Construction of a Royal Air Force station commenced in 1939 on the NE edge of the airfield. RAF Ringway was used for both operational flying and training. The main user was No.1 Parachute Training School RAF which trained over 60,000 paratroopers between June 1940 and March 1946, who parachuted out of planes over Tatton Park, after receiving permission from land owner, Lord Egerton. A complex of hangars and assembly sheds on the NW side of the airfield was used by Fairey Aviation for the construction, modification and testing of over 4000 aircraft of several types. From spring 1939, Avro used the 1938-built main hangar for assembly and testing the prototype Avro Manchester, Avro Lancaster and Avro Lincoln bombers. Three southside hangars were erected in 1942/43 and used for the assembly of Avro York military transport aircraft.
The advent of heavier aircraft types resulted in the all-grass landing area being badly damaged in wet weather during the winter of 1940/41. Two runways of 3000 ft length were therefore hastily and skimpily laid down between June and December 1941. The runways were designated 06/24 and 10/28 and the former was lengthened to 4200 ft by January 1943 to accommodate the four-engined aircraft now using RAF Ringway and the 3300 ft Runway 02/20 was also constructed. Runways 02/20 and 10/28 ceased to be used by airliners by the mid 1950s but the latter was used by light aircraft for another 30 years. Both are now permanently out of use.
After the war the airport grew massively, and the first trans-atlantic schedule commenced on 28 October 1953, operated by Sabena Belgian World Airlines to New York JFK. By 1958 the airport was handling 500,000 passengers annually. During the 1950s, a range of developments took place, including another runway extension and the introduction of 24-hour operations. Terminal 1 was the airport's first purpose-built post-war terminal and opened in late 1962; Manchester was then the only airport in Europe to have aircraft piers. In 1972 the airport was renamed "Manchester International Airport" and was designated an "international gateway" in the 1980s.
In 1974, a Local Government Review placed the airport entirely within the city of Manchester boundaries in the new metropolitan Greater Manchester area. However, due to constant expansion of the airport it had expanded back in to Cheshire by the early 1980s. The airport has since expanded farther in to Cheshire, mainly due to the second Runway (see below) being almost entirely within Cheshire.
The main runway was extended to its current length of 10,000 ft, opening on 17 August 1982 to attract long-haul flights from worldwide destinations. In 1988 the airport celebrated its Golden Jubilee and by this time was handling 9.5 million passengers annually. Due to increasing passenger numbers a second terminal was soon needed. In 1993, Terminal 2 and the airport railway station opened, connecting the airport to the national rail network.
In 1997 planning approval was granted for the building of Manchester's second runway and construction started the same year. It opened in 2001 at a cost of £172 million and was the first full-length commercial runway to open in Britain for over 20 years. Another milestone was achieved in 2004, when the airport reached 20 million passengers a year. Also that year, the new £60 million integrated public transport interchange was opened (called "The Station"), bringing bus, coach and rail passengers under one roof. Manchester Airport plans to accept Airbus A380 aircraft in the next few years, as part of the larger expansion at the airport.
On 7 June 2007, at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST), Manchester Airport's runway assignments were changed in relation to the magnetic compass bearings. The previous headings for the runways were 056° and 236° with assignments 06L/24R and 06R/24L respectively. The new headings for the runways are 054° and 234° with new assignments of 05L/23R and 05R/23L respectively. The signs located on taxiways and entrances to the runway were changed on the evening of the 6th June, 2007. The runway designators changed at the same time.
|Number of Passengers||Number of Movements|| Freight |
|Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority|
Manchester is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and the biggest outside of London, in terms of annual passenger throughput.
In both 2006 and 2007, Manchester Airport was the world's 22nd busiest airport in terms of international passengers, down from 17th position in 2005.
The airport's latest long range plan, published in July 2006, forecasts that passenger numbers will increase to approximately 38 million passengers annually by 2015. This would require a significant average annual growth rate from 2007 to 2015 of 7.1%. Further growth is postulated to 50 million by 2030. The airport authorities are examining measures to cope with this predicted increase.
In 2007 22.1 million passengers used Manchester Airport, a reduction of 1.5% compared with 2006 and below the 2005 total. There were 222,703 air transport movements during the year, the third highest in the UK.
Per CAA preliminary statistics, the passenger total for the 12 months to July 2008 was 21.78 million, a 0.6% reduction on the previous comparable 12 months (UK Airports average : 1.7% increase).
Manchester Airport has three passenger terminals (Terminals 1, 2 and 3). Terminals 1 and 2 are linked by the skylink walkway, with travelators to aid passengers with the 10-15 minute walk. The skylink also connects the terminals to the airport railway station complex (known as "The Station") and the Radisson SAS Hotel. Terminals 1 and 3 are connected via a short external pedestrian route; alternatively, a free bus service exists, which also serves "The Station".
The airport provides regular direct flights to many destinations worldwide by 84 airlines. Major North American carriers at Manchester include American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and US Airways from the United States, and Air Transat from Canada. UK operators serving the USA market are bmi and Virgin Atlantic. Airlines serving the Asian market include Air Blue, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Libyan Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Manchester is an international hub for bmi which offers several destinations from Terminal 3. Charter airlines First Choice Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomsonfly use Manchester as their primary operational base. The airport also serves as a secondary hub for bmibaby, Flybe, Jet2.com, Monarch Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Pakistan International Airlines. Several other British airlines have a strong presence.
Manchester Airport offers flights to over 225 destinations across the globe, which is more than any other UK airport, with more direct routes than Heathrow and Gatwick. Heathrow offers 180 destinations; all scheduled, whilst Gatwick has about 200 (although the two London airports handle considerably more flights and passengers than Manchester). Many of Manchester's overseas routes are served by charter flights to holiday destinations, some being seasonal. The proportion of scheduled passengers from Manchester has climbed from just 40% in the early 1990s to reach 63% during 2007.
Manchester also offers more destinations than some of the biggest airports in the US, including New York, Chicago and Dallas, although it is still slightly behind the three biggest 'hubs' in the global aviation network - Atlanta, Frankfurt and Amsterdam - which each offer more than 250 destinations. However, Manchester serves more foreign destinations than Atlanta and Frankfurt (but not Amsterdam), although being much smaller in terms of total passengers handled.
In 2007, a £35 million redevelopment program commenced for Terminal 1. A new £10 million 14-lane security area opened on 28 April 2008 and a revamp of the terminal's arrivals area is already underway, with project completion scheduled for December 2008. The departure lounge will be significantly expanded with a greater choice of shops and restaurants, following the virtual elimination of the landside area. With executive lounge enhancements also underway, Terminal 1's security and retail redevelopment is scheduled for completion by spring 2009. It is also planned that a brand new lounge, boarding area and a range of gates is to be added to the terminal, in preparation for Airbus A380 flights which are expected to begin operating from Manchester in 2010.
|Airlines and destinations|
Terminal 2 is mostly used by SkyTeam airline members and long haul and charter airlines flying to international destinations only. It opened in 1993, handling many scheduled European and Intercontinental flights. Some European scheduled airlines such as Air France, Air Malta and KLM operate flights from the terminal, whilst charter airlines First Choice Airways and Thomsonfly use the terminal as a base.
Terminal 2 has 16 gates, of which 15 have airbridges. The design of the terminal allows it to be readily capable of extensive expansion; planning permission already exists for a major extension providing additional gates, together with the construction of a satellite pier. Terminal 2's current capacity is around 8 million passengers a year and 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 and enhancing retail and catering services. A new upper-level security control area opened on 16 July 2008, and the first phase of Terminal 2's retail and catering improvements are scheduled for completion by mid-September 2008.
Terminal 2 is expected to accommodate the Airbus A380. In the expansion plan, a dedicated new gate area facility and lounge is to be added to the terminal and most of the new gates and stands will be designed to accommodate the A380, should commercial flights begin at the airport.
|Airlines and destinations|
Note: Although some of PIA's flights from Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore continue onto New York-JFK from Manchester, passengers flying Pakistan International Airlines may not board flights from Manchester to go New York-JFK and vice versa. Passengers must originate from Pakistan and fly to JFK and vice versa. Therefore, New York-JFK is not listed as a destination from Manchester.
Terminal 3, for a number of years known as "Terminal 1 - British Airways", "Terminal 1a" and more recently "Terminal 3 - British Airways and Domestic", was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in May 1989. In June 1998, British Airways opened their new £75 million terminal facility, a major extension to Terminal 3, and were the primary user of the terminal along with their partner airlines. However, more recently they have significantly scaled down operations from Manchester Airport with the sale of their BA Connect subsidiary to Flybe; the ending of their franchise agreement with GB Airways and from 26 October 2008, the retraction of the daily New York-JFK service. This leaves BA serving only London Heathrow and London Gatwick from Manchester.
After taking over BA Connect's select routes, Flybe has gone on to add several more successful destinations. Today, Flybe, bmibaby, bmi and easyJet are the major operators at Terminal 3, flying to over 50 destinations, both domestic and international. Other carriers operating from the terminal include American Airlines, Brussels Airlines and other domestic carriers such as Air Southwest and Eastern Airways.
In March 2008, easyJet commenced services from Terminal 3 and has since added many new routes. Terminal 3 is due for expansion between 2008 and 2010, in an aim to provide extra stand capacity and a more spacious and logical check-in area. Security improvements are due to be completed by spring 2009, with project completion set for winter 2009/10.
|Airlines and destinations|
Manchester Airport has a dedicated World Freight Terminal. The terminal is served by 10 dedicated freighter services and by civil airlines carrying cargo on passenger flights. There is currently 550,000 square feet of warehouse and office space directly on site, this includes a chiller unit for frozen products and a border inspection post. There are 3 aircraft maintenance hangers, along with 5 transit sheds. These are operated by: British Airways Regional Cargo, Swissport Cargo , Menzies World Cargo, Plane Handling and Servisair. Currently there are over 100 freight forwarding companies on site..
During 2006, 150,300 tonnes of cargo and mail were handled at Manchester, a small increase of 0.4% over the previous year (per CAA annual statistics table 2.2). Cargo growth sharply increased towards the third and fourth quarters of 2007, with October of that year setting a new record of tonnage passing through Manchester, with 16,326 tonnes being handled in the month. The twelve-month total to end October 2007 of 164,300 tonnes was 9.8% ahead of the previous year.
In February 2008, the 12 month rolling total for cargo volume was 166,500 tonnes. This is a 10.3% increase on the previous 12 months. This increase comes despite a slowdown in the UK market, which has seen little cargo growth over the past year. This increase is partly thanks to the 6 new freighter services which started flying to Manchester throughout last year. 3 South-East Asia based airlines, FedEx Express from North America, MNG Airlines from Turkey and Aeroflot-Cargo from Russia. The latter was the inaugural direct cargo flight between Russia and the United Kingdom. FedEx have since suspended services to the airport, however rumours persist that they are due to announce multiple services to the airport starting in early 2009.
Manchester's two biggest cargo markets are the Far East and North America. The Far East is predominantly a source of import cargo for the airport and North America is a key destination for exports. The main cargo destination from Manchester is Hong Kong, with Cathay Pacific making a total of 12 freighter round trips every week. On average each day the airport handles about 6 Boeing 747 freighter flights.
By 2015 the total figure for cargo handled is expected to be around 250,000 tonnes per year, achievable if current growth continues.
Cargo airlines that serve Manchester are:
The project was deemed controversial for two reasons; one being the destruction of natural wildlife habitats and another being the added flight paths which lead to and from the second runway. This results in aircraft flying low over the residential areas of Knutsford and Stockport when landing or taking off, in particular landing aircraft which do not follow 'Preferred Noise Routes'. For the latter reason, Runway 2 cannot legally be used between the hours of 10pm and 6am. However, the airport has permission to use Runway 2 between these hours if maintenance work is needed on the original runway.
During the quieter off-peak times which occur during the day, the airport reverts to single runway operations, where the original runway, 5L/23R, is used to accommodate both landing aircraft and those taking off. On some occasions when the airport is not busy, air traffic control can authorise light to medium aircraft to takeoff from the halfway point of the runway. Runway 2 is non-active during this time, with fewer local residential areas being affected by the operation of only one runway. The times of the day when this is effective are between the hours of 12pm-3pm and 9pm-6am.
The airport is approximately a 20 minute drive from Manchester City Centre and is reached by the M56 motorway, with a dedicated approach road from the motorway at junction 5. The M56 is the main route used by traffic to reach the airport. There are also minor local roads serving the airport from the north (Wythenshawe) and the east (Heald Green). The M56/A538 road junction serves the World Freight Terminal, to the west of the airport. The A538 runs east-west serving the local towns of Altrincham and Wilmslow.
Taxi ranks are situated by arrivals at all three terminals. Passengers driving to the airport can use the drop-off areas outside the terminal buildings, but when picking up passengers the airport requires that you park in the short stay car parks provided for a fee. Long stay car parks are situated both on and off site.
Manchester Airport railway station, opened in May 1993, forms part of The Station and is located between Terminals 1 and 2. It is linked to the terminals using a Skylink moving walkway. Trains are operated either by Northern Rail or TransPennine Express and connect the airport to Manchester Piccadilly Station and other railway stations mainly throughout northern England, but some trains come from as far as Edinburgh. Construction is now underway on building a third platform at the airport railway station, due to an increase in passenger numbers using the facility. The £15 million project will meet the extra future demand for rail services to and from the airport and is expected to be completed by December 2008. There has also been a proposal to link the Manchester to Manchester Airport line to the Chester to Hale line which would allow faster trains between the airport and parts of Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales. Since that proposal was put forward, little has materialised. However, the rail link could still be built.
The Station is the airport's ground transport interchange and brings bus, coach and rail passengers under one roof. Over 300 trains, 100 coaches and 500 buses a day use the facility. Buses serve many locations throughout Greater Manchester (see GMPTE map), including the 24-hour bus service Skyline, which runs every 30 minutes to Manchester City Centre. A network of National Express coach services serve Manchester Airport and operate to destinations further afield, including as far as Dublin.
There are also plans in place to build a Metrolink light rail extension to the airport from Manchester Piccadilly via Wythenshawe.
As part of the Government's 'The Future of Air Transport' White Paper, Manchester Airport published its master plan on its future expansion up until 2030. Demolition of older buildings, such as old storage buildings, to the east of Terminal 3 has already begun. This is to make way for a new apron and taxiway towards runway 23R/05L, and an eastwards extension of Terminal 3, which is planned to provide an extra fifteen covered stands. A full length parallel taxiway may also be added to the second runway and more crossing points added across the first runway to improve ground movements of aircraft.
Passenger flow on Terminal 1's gating piers is due to be realigned, with plans to redesign the piers such that departures and arrivals do not contraflow on the same level, allowing for larger seating areas at the gates, express retail outlets and a dedicated lounge and gating area for future Airbus A380 flights. An early phase of which has seen the removal of the South Bay remote aircraft stands, constructed in 1962, and situated between taxiways Juliet and Kilo.
Terminal 2 is due to receive a major extension, to encompass current remote stands to the west. A satellite terminal is also projected for Terminal 2. Between twelve and fifteen covered aircraft stands will be made available by this. An airside link for transferring passengers between Terminals 1 & 2 is at the planning stage, designed in an effort to boost Manchester's chances of becoming a major hub airport and minimise potential missed connections. There is uncertainty as to whether this link should provide extra stands for the two terminals, or merely exist as a transfer corridor.
All existing terminals are undergoing a retail and airport security refurbishment programme, with Terminals 1 and 3 due to be complete by spring 2009, and Terminal 2 by autumn 2009. The security control areas have undergone upgrades of new X-ray machines and passenger authenticity control systems, which will ensure a higher and faster passenger throughput, whilst improving the already elevated levels of security at the airport. The new security control areas are now in operation in Terminals 1 & 2.
Terminal 3 acquired an extra security control area in November 2007, located near check-in zone C. This was initially dedicated to passengers travelling to CTA destinations. In January 2008, the usage was extended to all Terminal 3 passengers, with the exception of those destined for Frankfurt, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Brussels. This new security control area is now used for all departures out of Terminal 3; the old security area has now closed and is being de-commissioned.
The current fire station on the north of the airfield is becoming outdated and expensive to maintain and is also in the way of future apron and taxiway developments, so it is also stated that this may be demolished and a new facility built close to the original fire station site. A third runway and a Terminal 4 may also be developed, however any such expansion would be subject to a major public inquiry, and neither is currently accounted for in the airport's plans to 2015.
The taxiways are undergoing a phased renewal programme. Work on taxiway Alpha has recently been completed, and runway crossing point Delta Zulu is being resurfaced. The 'South Bay' stands at the end of B Pier recently closed to make way for a realigning of part of taxiway Juliet to allow the accommodation of the Airbus A380. The work also fits in with the airfield's future taxiway strategy.
On 27 April 2008, it was announced that the Manchester Airports Group, which owns Manchester Airport together with the regional airports at East Midlands and Bournemouth, plans to sell its majority stake of 87% in the smaller Humberside Airport, which it has run since 1999. The money raised from the sale will go into developments and expansion at its other airports, a large proportion of which will most probably be used to fund the above expansion of Manchester.
On 17 September 2008, it was announced that BAA were to sell London Gatwick Airport ahead of the Competition Commission possibly forcing the sale following their main report due in 2009. The airport is estimated to be worth around £1.8billion. Manchester Airports Group are believed to be one of the interested parties. Should such a bid be tabled and accepted, it would create a business which would rival the current BAA monopoly over the United Kingdom's air infrastructure.
The Asian carrier Royal Brunei Airlines has expressed an interest in commencing 4 flights per-week to the Brunei capital Bander Ser Bagiwan from Manchester in its plan to expand operations throughout the UK.
Manchester Airport's second runway was built on around of greenbelt land. Four Grade II listed buildings were taken down piece by piece and were re-constructed nearby, and over £20m was spent on environmental restoration and protection. Nonetheless, there is criticism that existing natural habitats were destroyed.
The SW end of the new runway is closer to the town of Knutsford and to the village of Mobberley. There has been an increase in noise experienced by local residents from the aircraft being lower and closer and home owners have not been compensated by the airport.
In 2007 Manchester Airport wanted to build on further green belt land in Styal in order to increase its car parking. However, Macclesfield Borough Council refused to give them planning permission to do so and expressed annoyance at the Airport for not investing enough in public transport. Macclesfield Borough Council have said that they would consider giving planning permission for a new car park on brownfield land. The airport did not make another application, despite claims that the number of parking spaces was insufficient for the number of passengers.
Manchester Airport has created several public viewing areas since the airport opened to the public in 1938. The 1960/70s pier-top facilities have been closed because of security concerns. In 1992, an official "Aviation Viewing Park" (AVP) was created just off the A538 road on the south-eastern side of the airfield, which was relocated to the western side of the airfield in 1997 to allow construction of the second runway. The Aviation Viewing Park provides the best official viewing facilities for aircraft spotting at any major UK airport. Visitors can view aircraft taking off and landing from both runways, as well as aircraft taxiing to and from the runways. The popular attraction now draws around 250,000 visitors a year and is one of the North-West of England's top 10 attractions. The AVP also has a cafe and a shop selling aviation related items. Aircraft on display are:
Level 13 of the short-stay car park at Terminal 1 features another viewing location, popular with spotters for the last 32 years. As part of a recent refurbishment, the café and aviation shop which were once part of the viewing area have now been closed, with the aviation shop moving to the Terminal 1 arrivals area. Whilst the car park is no longer an official viewing area, signage within the airport still refers to it as a spectator's terrace, and the airport still tolerates viewing from this location.
A pub named The Airport Inn, which offers views across the airport, is located to the east of Terminal 3 on the Airport Link Road.
Improving lighting performance: Manchester Airport has been able to increase the performance of its expanded Aeronautical Ground Lighting System by investing in advanced photometric measuring equipment.(Airfield Lighting)
Jan 01, 2006; Manchester Airport has experienced significant expansion over the past decade, including the building of a second runway. It is...