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Manchester’s airport’s history dates back to 1911 when an aerodrome was established at Trafford Park. Between then and 1935 (when the site at ‘Ringway’ was developed for use) there had been four other locations, all of which were abandoned as aircraft became larger to meet increasing passenger numbers and required longer landing strips and more facilities.

Terminal 2 is on the left with Pier 'C' of Terminal 1 at the top of the photograph.

Terminal 2 is on the left with Pier ‘C’ of Terminal 1 at the top of the photograph.

The airport today is both the first and last impression of Manchester and the North West of England that international visitors will see, and as the UK’s third busiest airport (and the busiest of the non-London airports), the quality of the airport’s facilities is constantly under revision to meet the needs of the customers and the airline partners, transport providers and businesses across the North of England and in the most responsible and cost-effective way.

It also has a direct impact on the local area and is proactive in listening to and working with its neighbours and its stakeholders, and as it expands, it creates more jobs for local people and helps to provide skills development and training they may need.

A ten-year plan was given the go-ahead by Manchester City Council in March 2016 for the demolition of Terminal 1 and the expansion of Terminal 2 to increase the size of the security hall, add new retail outlets and eateries, and provide more self-service check-in facilities, thus making it the primary terminal. Laing O’Rourke was selected in July 2016 as the preferred bidder for the £700m overhaul and expansion of the terminal, beating off BEGGI UK which is currently working on ‘Airport City’.

The plan also includes new stands and piers as well as improvements to Terminal 3 and a direct link provided by airside transfer facilities to and from Terminal 2 to meet the increase in demand. The transformation will ensure that the airport plays its part in driving economic growth and developments as a key part of the UK transport infrastructure.

In the new book ‘Manchester Airport Through Time’ from Amberley Publishing (978-1445663906), the history of what is now the third largest International Airport in the UK is unfolded and supported with a balance of period and contemporary original photographs.

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Tenax Road in Manchester runs north-south through the centre of the site of the old Trafford Park Aerodrome, which was the first purpose-built airfield in the Manchester area. The first known use of the all-grass site was by Henry Melly on 7 July 1911.

MAN1

By prior arrangement, A.V. Roe had laid out white sheets on the ground to indicate the location of the landing area for Melly, who had flown non-stop flight from his base at Waterloo just north of Liverpool, to land his Blériot monoplane.

At the end of that month, a large crowd of spectators greeted French aviator Lt Conneau as he arrived in his Bleriot ahead of his competitors in a ‘Round Britain Air Race’ from Edinburgh via Carlisle. Only three others completed the course. On 20 June 1914, the aerodrome was used as the turning point for a Hendon-Birmingham-Manchester and return air race, but following this, it saw little use and closed in 1918.

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