The History of Manchester Airport

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The History of Manchester Airport

Manchester airport humble beginnings started out in 1928 originally at Barton, near Eccles. This was basically more of a flying club than a commercial operation and in 1934 the airport moved to a new location at land known locally as Ringway.and many local people still refer to Manchester airport as Ringway airport. Ringway or Manchester airport was officially opened in 1938 when the first year’s passengers total was 7600.

Between 1940 and 1946 the Ministry of Defence took over the operation of the airport and parachute regiments received their training at the airport and were based there on an operational level.

After the war the airport returned to commercial operations and by 1952 passenger levels had risen to 163,000 and Manchester airport became the airport of choice for northern travelers wishing to avoid long journeys south to either Gatwick or Heathrow.

The boom in package travel continued to see demands on airports throughout the country and Manchester airport was no exception. In 1962 a new terminal was built at a then astronomical cost of £2.7 million and was the first to provide cover for traveling passengers, who prior to this would have to brave the elements when boarding or upon their return. The next major expenditure was the runway that continually had to be extended and re-laid to accommodate larger and larger aircraft.

Passenger numbers by 1980 broke through the ½ million barrier with the airport airlines now flying to 37 destinations. The million barrier was broken only 6 years later in 1986, which clearly demonstrated the unparallel rate of growth. It had taken nearly 50 years to get to ½ million and only 6 years to attain 1005 growth. As well as the passenger traffic freight was increasing and the World Fright terminal was opened in 1986.

This was shortly followed by the building of the then called domestic terminal which is now known as terminal 3 which accommodates British Airways and domestic internal flights.

The next major developments have come in the space of the last 10 years with the completion of terminal 2 and the granting of a second runway in 1997. The airport now has tremendous room for growth and passenger levels are expected to double in the next 10 years from 20 million to 40 million.Due to planning difficulties the existing off airport car parks for Manchester Airport Parking will have to meet this demand and early booking to secure a space is recommended.

Both Heathrow and particularly Gatwick, which only has one runway have land constraints and expansion at these 2 airports will become more problematic.
The 10 Councils of Greater Manchester wholly own the airport and apart from Manchester they also own Nottingham east Midlands, Humberside Airport and Bournemouth airport and after BAA are the second largest airport operators in the UK.

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