Manchester Airport transformation unveiled

The new departure lounge at Manchester Airport's Terminal 2.

The transformation of Manchester Airport has been unveiled, with the centrepiece of the £1bn project being a redesigned Terminal 2, which has doubled in size. 

Delivered by a project team including global design engineering consultancy Buro Happold, architects Pascall+Watson and contractor Laing O’Rourke, the transformation also extends to a new pier, car park and baggage hall.

Buro Happold delivered a range of engineering and design disciplines incorporating every element of the project and played a key role in developing the transport hub into a world-class international gateway.  

Part of the company’s involvement included bringing forward innovative computational design techniques to help deliver the demanding programme. The project was designed and delivered using computational techniques to precisely analyse and place the 8,000 tonnes of steelwork required.  A complete Building Information Model (BIM) was also developed for the airport’s new car park, which contains 3,800 spaces.

Working closely with Manchester Airports Group, the project team had to deliver the vital project for the UK aviation industry while keeping to immovable deadlines and working around a live airport. The close collaboration between the different disciplines, helped by the use of computational design, was central to this process.

Manchester Airport is Buro Happold’s latest major project in the UK aviation sector, a portfolio which in recent years includes delivering the Heathrow T2 interchange, T3 and T4 projects.

Julian Sheppard, Buro Happold’s UK aviation lead, said: “The transformation of Manchester Airport is a huge project – both for UK aviation and for Manchester itself.  We are incredibly proud to have been involved in its delivery, using our expertise within the sector to overcome project challenges and bring forward a high-quality solution on time.”

Karen Smart, managing director of Manchester Airport, said: “After a long wait, we are delighted to have welcomed the first passengers to our new Terminal Two.  It is a proud milestone for our airport as we begin to emerge from the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 crisis and an important moment in our 83-year history.

“This project was always about offering the modern airport experience that families and businesses across the north deserve as they travel through their international gateway to the world and our new terminal certainly delivers on that goal.”

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