The interesting history of Manchester Airport

March 26, 2018 9:29 am Published by

Did you know that Manchester Airport takes over 22 million visitors each year? That’s true, but as you make your way through the security, on to the duty-free and airports gates, you might miss the interesting history. A quick example: did you know that the original site of the airport was in Barton and the Duke of Edinburgh opened the site at Ringway when it was complete?

Quick facts about the airport

  • The airport handles over 22 million visitors each year and therefore it is the third busiest Airport in the United Kingdom
  • Manchester airport is a home to over 60 airlines that serve 200 worldwide destinations
  • The airport is currently employing over 19,000 individuals directly and supports additional 42,500 jobs within the North West of England.
  • On average, people purchase 1.5 million water bottles, 40,000 champagne bottles and 1.8 million books from the airport.
  • Outside the airport grounds, you will find 3 bat barns, badger setts, a mammal tunnel and over 92 pounds that hold amphibian wildlife. The ponds were constructed to preserve wildlife.

The airport’s history

In the year 1928, Barton was selected as a space for aerodrome and the construction was complete by the year 1930. After only 4 years, it was again decided that the space was very small and work had to start on the Ringway site. On 25th June 1938, a second site was opened – what would later become today’s Manchester Airport. During the World War 2, Ringway Airport was converted into a craft-manufacturing centre and a training hub for the parachutist. What’s more, 3 additional runways were added.

After the resumption of peacetime passenger services, in the year 1947, the number of passengers almost tripled to 34,000. That led to the enlargement of the terminal facilities, which were built in the change over wartime building. By the year 1954, the airport was operating for 24 hours throughout the week; the main runway was extended further and saw the 1 millionth passenger since the end of World Wars.

In the year 1962, HRM The Duke of Edinburgh launched the new £2.7 million Terminal that saw the implementation of the first-ever ‘pier’ system in the European Airport. In other words, passengers could remain under a roof until their flight.

The number of passengers increased steadily and by the year 1980, the second pier system was constructed meaning that the airport could handle Boeing 747s. Another runway extension was completed and half a million passengers would use the airport each month.

And as the Airport’s Golden Jubilee approached in the year 1988, the World Freight Terminal was complete, the third extension to the primary runway was also complete and over 1 million travellers were using the airport each month. That meant growth in popularity of the airport. With the increase of passengers, a new terminal was needed. In 1989, HRM The Princess of Wales opened a Domestic terminal that was complete with a dedicated sign-in services and parking.

The airport after 1990

Due to the success of Manchester Airport, Terminal 2 was constructed and opened in the year 1993 to accommodate the rising number of travellers – the number of people using the airport each year was 15 million. Plans for the second runway were in place and after 4 years, it was complete.

By the year 2005, £5.5 million upgrades to the Airport’s first terminal was finished and the work team was ready to begin on the second terminal. The team had also completed the construction of a new Public Transport Interchange. Put differently, travellers could connect to other large cities within the UK easily. The airport was also handling over 22 million passengers each year.

Building works started in the year 2009 for a new education centre. In November of the same year, the airport had started training new technology, known as the Body Scanners. By the year 2015, the airport had acquired London City, East Midlands, and Bournemouth airports to form the MAG (Manchester Airport Group), the 3rd largest airport group in the United Kingdom. That was after 75 years of operation. In 2015, the Globe Travel Awards crowned it the “Best Airport in the UK”. After landing in Manchester, you might need a taxi to help you reach your destination within a short time.