Manchester Airport has unveiled the first part of its £1bn transformation programme as the summer holiday season comes to an end.
Some passengers passing through Terminal 2 will now use a new temporary gate lounge that can hold up to 650 passengers. The first passengers used the lounge this week and after successful trials, more flights will now use the facility. It will be in operation for up to two years and the wraps have been taken off the new building a little over a month after work on the project began.
The first two passengers Mr and Mrs Raistrick were jetting off to Rhodes with Monarch Airlines and were rewarded with a VIP airport experience for their next holiday.
The new gate lounge will allow the west half of Terminal 2 to be completely demolished and rebuilt whilst the airfield remains in full operation. The new terminal building is expected to be operational by 2019.
Thanks to ceiling high windows, the new lounge provides passengers with a close-up view of the airfield. The facility has also been decorated with a timeline that tells the history of the airport as well as information on the transformation programme.
The area also sees new enlarged toilet cubicles and new wayfinding branding including signage that will be replicated throughout the terminal once the transformation programme is complete.
The opening of the new lounge comes a month after a visit from the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP to see the start of the works. As well as launching the airport’s transformation, he also launched the UK’s national aviation strategy where he positioned Manchester as “the UK’s other hub airport.”
Rob Stewart, Delivery Director for MAN-TP, said: “The opening of the lounge is the first milestone for the project since work started. It will allow us to demolish the western side of Terminal 2 and passengers will soon see cranes in place starting those works. The new facility has been finished to a high standard and it is great to use the space to tell passengers travelling to destinations ranging from Beijing to San Francisco about the history of Manchester Airport and our plans for the future.
“Excitement is really building about the changes taking place at the airport and we are looking forward to seeing it develop in the weeks and months ahead.”
The first part of the transformation programme comes after the airport’s busiest ever Bank Holiday Weekend, with more than 420,000 passengers passing through the terminals over the three days.
Time-lapse footage of the building of a new gating lounge at T2, Manchester Airport can be viewed here.