Airports of the World: Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport now operates two terminals. Both terminals are served by a dedicated spur from Junction 5 off the M56, and are clearly signposted from all main access roads. Each terminal has a range of shops, a choice of restaurants and licensed bars, with banking and foreign exchange facilities available in both. In October 1996 a new Skylink was opened which links Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. It also provides a link to the Airport’s rail station. The Skylink with moving walkways connects Terminal 2 with Terminal 1 International and Terminal 1 Domestic via the Rail Station.

Manchester Airport has been growing rapidly over the past few years. Nowadays 15 Million passengers use Manchester Airport each year. Manchester Airport offers services to mayor and regional destinations all over the UK and the European Continent. Direct intercontinental services are available as well to destinations in the USA, Far East (Singapore and Hong Kong), and Africa. Manchester is conveniently located in the UK, providing good transfer connections to domestic destinations in the UK.

Passenger Services
Manchester Airport offers its passengers an extensive array of shopping and eating facilities. There are around 40 shops and more than 20 bars and restaurants on the airport premises. Banks, car rental and four hotels are available as well.

All check-in halls are located on the upper level of each terminal and are clearly signposted from the approach roads. Airtours International have their own dedicated check-in hall which is situated on the lower level of Terminal 1 International. It is signposted from the approach roads. For passengers checking-in for Airtours International flights there is a drop off area at the entrance.

Major tour operators are represented in the check-in halls in Terminal 1 International and Terminal 2, for late collection of tickets, assistance with check-in and general enquiries.

All UK and Northern Ireland flights departing from Terminal 1 Domestic will be required to pass through a security search and hand baggage will be x-rayed. The passenger will not be required to present his passport. International passenger will be required to present their passport to be examined by HM Immigration Officials once they have been through security.

Visitors at Manchester Airport
Manchester Airport offers many services for visitors as well. Aviation enthusiasts can watch plane activities from the spectators terrace, visit the Aviation Shop or take a guided tour.

Located at Terminal 1 Spectator Terrace and at the Aviation Viewing Park, the Aviation Shop offers everything from aircraft radios, books, souvenirs and models, to the Airport’s official monthly guide, ‘Flight Check’. The Aviation Shops are operated by the Aviation Society.

The Aviation Viewing Park is open every day of the year (excluding Christmas Day) from 0830 till dusk. There is plenty of room for cars with over 300 parking spaces, including parking for the disabled, all offering great views of the aircraft without even the leaving the car. For coach parties there are four spaces available. There is a charge of £1.00 per vehicle weekdays and £2.00 weekends and bank holidays.

Trained tour guides provide information on many aspects of the aviation and travel industry. The Tour Centre, located on the Terminal 1 Spectator terrace, holds displays from airlines, specialist aviation videos, and provides a good view of the Airport. Tours are available for educational bodies (aged 4 and upward) or public groups, and can be booked directly through the Tour Centre.

Environment

Manchester Airport’s mission is “to be the best world airport” The environment core value is to be:- “a world leader in environmental excellence operating a sustainable business”

The number of people wanting to use Manchester Airport is increasing and, by 2005, is expected to reach 30 million a year. While bringing many benefits to the region, this growth will affect the environment. The future success is linked to how well the airport is able to control that effect. To make sure they do this correctly, they have set up an environmental department to advise the company on environmental control, planning, company policy and to monitor progress. in this vital area.

In 1989 the airport reviewed its environmental policies and initiatives and talked to local residents to find out how much of an effect it have on their lives. The booklet “Towards a Better Environment” was the first comprehensive environmental policy and was widely acclaimed as an example for others to follow. It is known that to support the regional economy into the next century, the airport need to further develop its environment policies into a well thought out long-term environment plan. This should cover the key issues and concerns and be tied into our other corporate policies and plans. It should be a document which everyone believes in and which clearly and publicly announces its commitment, which is produced after talking with:

  • representatives of local communities, including the Manchester Airport Consultative Committee (MACC)
  • the customers (airlines and tenants);
  • other organisations in the aviation industry;
  • environmental experts;
  • and local authorities

Sustainability means meeting today’s needs while making sure future generations are able to satisfy their own needs. The Aviation demand in Europe is rapidly growing and this is offering opportunities for increased benefits. If the airport is to capitalise on these opportunities it must accept the responsibilities that come with these opportunities.

Achieving sustainability means that the company has to understand how the world is changing. The Airport Company must then ensure that its development and operation are in step with its changing commercial, social, political and environmental situation.

Manchester Airport PLC has an in house Environment Department, staffed by experts in environmental management. However all staff from the shop floor to Executive Directors, have specific environmental targets and responsibilities. The airport also recognise that it is the surrounding communities that are most affected by its operation and development.

Second Runway

On 15 January 1997, the UK Government approved the development of a £172 million second runway at Manchester Airport. This landmark development is needed to meet the projected air traffic demand in the North of England, generate almost 50,000 new jobs, and provide a massive boost to the regional economy.

The second runway will be 3,050 metres long and 390 metres to the south of the existing runway. There would be a 1,850 metre stagger between runway ends and aircraft would use one runway for departures, the other for arrivals. The new runway would not be used at night. The runway would cross the Wilmslow – Altrincham (A538) Road and the River Bollin, which will be diverted through a large tunnel.

Why a second runway is needed?

Manchester Airport is one of the success stories in the North of Britain. It is the UK’s third largest airport, and in terms of international traffic, one of the world’s top 20. Over the past 10 years the Airport has grown rapidly from 4 million passengers per year in 1980 to almost 15 million in 1996.

The growth in air travel is expected to continue. The latest forecasts predict that by the year 2005, some 30 million passengers per year will be using Manchester Airport.

To handle the expected traffic growth, a second runway is needed. Even now, at busy periods, the single runway is operating at its maximum capacity. Without a second runway, delays and congestion would increase to such a point, that new airlines wanting to serve Manchester are likely to be turned away, denying passengers the opportunity to fly from their own local airport.

Economic Benefits

The growth of the Airport has been one of the success stories in the health of the local and regional economy. Many thousands of jobs already depend on Manchester Airport. Over 15,000 people are employed on the site, with many thousands more away from the Airport in related businesses.

The development of Manchester Airport offers one of the greatest potential sources of new job creation in the North West. With a second runway it is likely that some 50,000 new jobs would be created. The decision to grant permission for the new runway is the most important step forward for the Region in decades – important for commerce, important for travel and tourism and important for local and regional employment prospects.

A Major Construction Boost for the Region

It is vital that the new runway is available for use as soon as possible to provide additional capacity for airlines and their passengers. The construction of the second runway will be a major civil engineering and environmental project; one of the largest in the North West. The works are expected to take some three years to complete.

The second runway would be 3,050 metres long, parallel and 390 metres to the south of the existing runway. There would be a 1,850 metre stagger between the runway ends, and aircraft would usually use the new runway for departures and the existing runway for arrivals.

The work will require a significant volume of material to be imported, mainly stone from the Peak District. The Airport Company hope to be able to carry at least 70% of this material by rail. This will remove over 185,000 potential lorry trips from the local roads, replaced by 3 trains a day.

Community Guarantees

The Second Runway proposal has been the subject of a detailed and comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment. Careful consideration has been paid to the environmental impact of the scheme and the effect of the development on the Airport’s neighbours. A far reaching environmental mitigation package has been drawn up and legally binding guarantees have been agreed with local communities.

Long term measures will be put in place to limit the noise impact of the Airport operation. Over the last ten years, with the switch to modern quieter aircraft, there have been significant decreases in noise levels around the Airport, despite the increases in air traffic. This will continue and the Airport has made a legally binding guarantee that measured noise levels upto 2011 will be no worse than they were in 1992.

Over half of the runway site is already within the existing perimeter of the Airport. Of the new land outside the Airport, over half of it has been set aside for environmental works. The second runway will inevitably impact on the local landscape, however the scheme includes an extensive programme of environmental improvement measures.

Expert ecologists have worked closely with the project engineers to conserve habitats where possible and minimise intrusion into the most valuable areas. It is proposed to move some of the most valuable habitats and restore ecologically important sites.

Large areas of new woodland will be planted, the equivalent of 50 football pitches, this is almost six times the area that would be lost. Some existing ponds would be lost, although for each one, at least two new ponds will be created. This means that over 90 new or restored ponds form part of the second runway scheme.

Measures will also be put in place to protect birds and animals affected by the runway construction. New habitats will be created, and the animal themselves will be sensitively moved away from the construction area.

Ground transport – vital for easy access

The success of any airport depends on the quality of links to it. A variety of measures are being put in place to increase the use of public transport. The rail link is already a great success, the extension of the Metrolink light rail system and the expansion of the rail network are key priorities.

The Public Inquiry – the Inspector’s conclusions

The Public Inquiry into the Second Runway ran from June 1994 to March 1995 and lasted some 101 days. This was one of the largest Public Inquiries to be held in the North West. The Inspector’s Report and the Secretaries of State’s decision that permission for the project be granted, were published on the 15th January 1997.

The Inspector concluded “Manchester Airport is a vitally important asset for the Region” and that the beneficial effect of the airport would be “huge.

In considering the package of environmental measures, the Inspector judged; “the impressive, wide ranging and comprehensive S106 Agreement would secure substantial levels of mitigation to reduce the harmful effects as low as reasonably practicable….and the proposals would contribute, so far as possible, to the objective of ensuring that development and growth are sustainable.”

Taking account of the benefits as well as the environmental impact, the Inspector’s final conclusion was that the case for planning permission was, in his own words, “overwhelming”.

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