Manchester Airport £1bn Transformation – Phase 1 Opening in April

    MAG is investing £1 billion into Manchester Airport’s new ‘super terminal’ as part of the Manchester Airport Transformation Programme. It’s a bid to modernise the passenger experience so it’s not just a means to an end, but a desirable place to spend time.

    This article will go through the changes you should expect for the airport at large, as well as what to do if you’re travelling from Manchester Airport this year.


    What’s Opening in April 2019?

    Phase 1 of the Manchester Airport Transformation Programme includes a new terminal pier and a new multi-storey car park.

    The Official Manchester Airport T2 Multi Storey West is just 8 minutes’ walk from Terminal 2, and since it’s brand new for 2019 we suspect it’s going to be popular!

    Of course, new car parks at the airport are always good news — it means finding a space by the terminal will be even easier.

    But in addition to the new car park, Manchester Airport Terminal 2 will be getting a new terminal pier, which is now completed and is currently in the testing stage. It’s due to be ready in the first week of April.

    Andrew Cowan

    Manchester Airport Chief Executive Andrew Cowan said: “We’re very excited that passengers travelling through Terminal 2 will soon be able to experience the first phase of our transformation programme when we open the first new pier in April. It will have a positive impact on the passenger experience when travelling through the airport and give customers a taste of things come from the next phases of the project.”

    Looking forward to 2020, a further extension to Terminal 2 will increase its capacity by 150%, followed by further improvements and refurbishments in 2022, including another pier.

    What Do I Need to Know If I’m Flying from Manchester in 2019?


    When you arrive at Terminal 2, you’ll see the new 650-capacity temporary gate lounge. The temporary lounge will be in action for up to two years. It features ceiling-high windows with a close-up view of the airfield and wall art detailing the airport’s 80-year history. The area also sees new enlarged toilet cubicles and new wayfinding branding so you’ll never get lost again!

    But the biggest logistical changes for travellers are associated with where you can pick up and drop off passengers.

    For dropping off you have two options, which we’ll explain below.

    Dropping Off at the Terminal 2 Departures Forecourt

    Firstly, you can drop off right outside Terminal 2 at departures level. To get here, simply leave the M56 at Junction 5 and stay in the left-hand lane, following signs for Terminal 2.

    At the roundabout, take the exit signposted Terminal 2 and you’ve made it!

    Check out the map below for a clearer picture of where to go:

    Dropping Off at the Multi-Storey Car Park

    Your second option is to drop-off at the multi-storey.

    To get to the multi-storey, exit the M56 at Junction 5 and stay in the left-hand lane following signs for Manchester Airport Terminal 2.

    At the first roundabout, take the 2nd exit, signposted Terminal 2.

    At the 2nd roundabout take the 2nd exit into Palma Avenue, signposted for T2 Multi-Storey car park.

    After 0.2 mile the Multi-Storey car park entrance is situated on your left-hand side.

    Alternatively, punch M90 4ZY into your sat nav — easy peasy!

    If you have a booking, cameras at the barrier will scan your car registration and grant you access to the car park. If the barrier fails to raise, press the help button to call for assistance.

    Please note that if you have a vehicle above 2m, the multi-storey — as well as the airport’s meet and greet car parks — will be off limits. Luckily we’ve got plenty of airport parking solutions for you instead!


    Picking Up at Manchester Terminal 2

    If you’re picking someone up from Terminal 2, you can head straight to the multi-storey using the directions above.


    Are There Charges for Picking Up & Dropping Off?

    Unforunately there is a charge in exchange for this convenience.

    If you drop-off at the Terminal 2 forecourt or the multi-storey car park, the fee is £3 for 5 minutes, or £4 for £10 minutes.

    However, you can get around this fee by dropping your passengers off at the free drop-off area on Thorley Lane, as long as they don’t mind catching a complimentary 7-minute transfer bus to the terminal.

    Picking up at the multi-storey also comes with a cost of £4 for 30 minutes.

    What Permanent Improvements Are Being Made to Manchester Airport Terminal 2?


    Terminal 2 will become the airport’s primary terminal building, more than twice the size. It’ll have 60 new spaces for shops and restaurants across 167,000 square feet (!!!) of retail space. That’s enough to service 27 million annual passengers and then some!


    But it’s not just high street shops and fast food outlets that Manchester Airport has their eye on to fill the gap. They’ve said that they want a wide range of independent brands, as well as a series of pop-up food stalls in the up-and-coming market area. How cosmopolitan!

    The airport wants to create a unique travel-retail environment that isn’t just a copy-paste of every shopping centre and food court round the country. Instead they want to take advantage of world cuisine and local businesses to create a truly unique retail environment. You can see their vision for Manchester Airport Terminal 2 a little more clearly in the video below:

    You’ll start to see much of these changes from April 2019 when a brand new pier will be opening — the connecting bridge that takes passengers to board their planes.

    What Else is New?

    Terminal 2 doesn’t get all the glory — there are improvements on the cards for all parts of the airport, including:

    • The improvement of Terminal 3 to cater for an ever-expanding flight schedule and therefore increased demand.
    • New and enlarged airside transfer facilities, including the direct linkage between Terminals 2 and 3.
    • The installation of state-of-the-art technology in the increased security hall, enabling more passengers to be screened faster than ever before.
    • Self-service check in to make your life easier as a passenger.
    • A future-proofed operational airport environment to provide greater flexibility and resilience for evolving airline and security needs.
    • New stands and piers with better departure gate facilities.
    • An improved surface access road system, making it easier for customers to come to and from the airport.
    • A US pre-clearance facility, allowing passengers to clear immigration, customs and agricultural inspection by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before boarding their flight.


    But Why Update Manchester Airport Terminal 2 Now?

    Improvements are always a good thing, but why has Manchester Airport decided to undertake this development of Terminal 2 now? One of the main drivers is simply that the airport has never been so busy! With millions of people using it every year to travel with hundreds of airlines, there’s never been a better time to make key changes to the terminal and reinforce it as a global gateway. In their own words: “We want to build on the success and contribution the airport makes to the Northern economy by investing in transforming its facilities and the experience we offer to passengers.

    “We are reaching the boundaries of what can be achieved through our existing infrastructure and our transformation programme is an important investment in the future of Manchester Airport.”


    So If This All Sounds Good…

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    1. As I expected, getting on an aeroplane does not appear to be important. No doubt it will be further to walk and harder to find the way.

      Looks like further ways to extract money from people through sales outlets.

    2. Came back to terminal 2 new extension a couple of evenings ago. After 4 hour flight I did not need a 15 min walk from the plane to pass port control area. Then a weight of 15 mins for my luggage followed by another ten 12 minute walk with my luggage to the pick up point in the new multi story car park. On top of that the person meeting me had difficulties findings the pick up point because the signage is so poor or should in say non existent, thank Manchester airport for giving me such a wonderful end to my holiday(not). Next time I’m flying from Liverpool or Birmingham. Congratulations Manchester on your new T2 disaster area.