Manchester Airport have unveiled the next phase of its £1 billion Transformation Programme.
The airport’s Chief Executive, Ken O’Toole, outlined the latest plans at the UK Northern Powerhouse Conference in Manchester city centre today.
In a wide-ranging speech in which Mr O’Toole urged the government to commit to the vision of the Northern Powerhouse, he also spoke of the progress of the airport’s Transformation Programme, which is the largest private sector investment in the North.
Manchester Airport’s investment is crucial given the airport is the global gateway for the North of the UK and with more than 210 destinations served by 70 airlines, is the largest airport outside of London.
Mr O’Toole also spoke of Manchester’s importance in the context of the time it will take to build Heathrow’s new runway, suggesting airports like Manchester are key to creating a “truly global presence” if their potential can be unlocked.
After unveiling the images that show what the airport could look like following the £1 billion investment, Mr O’Toole outlined the reasons for such financial commitment on a project that is one of the largest private sector investments seen in the North of England for decades.
He said: “We know we are among the best airports in the world when it comes to the number of different destinations on offer, whether that be Boston, Beijing or Barcelona; Houston, Hong Kong or Hamburg.
“Our £1 billion Transformation Programme is all about investing in the future, so we can continue to grow by securing more direct flight services in our role as the North’s global gateway.
“It’s also about investing in our facilities and in the latest technology to provide passengers with the best possible experience.”
The new images not only show the feel and quality that can be expected from the Transformation Project, they also underline the airport’s ambition to see a success made of the Northern Powerhouse.
The airport already services 25 million passengers annually and if the Northern Powerhouse is to become a reality, even more passengers will have access to Manchester Airport.
In order to do this – and in the process, realise the potential for the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in future – Mr O’Toole called on the government to invest on infrastructure projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail (HS3), to improve connectivity from northern cities to the airport.
“If the Northern Powerhouse is to be truly competitive on the global stage, it should be as easy as possible to travel from Hull to Hong Kong; Liverpool to Los Angeles and Sheffield to Singapore,” he said.
“Slashing journey times through investment in NPR could lead to the North securing direct flights to 20 – 30 key global markets, with millions more people in easy reach of Manchester Airport.”
(image credits: @manchesterairport)