Manchester Airport News

Some recent news about  Manchester airport:
News stories about the airport can be found at the UK Airport News website and the airport’s own press releases:

Manchester airport infuriated by Holland-Kaye claim that Manchester area “needs” Heathrow for business

Giving evidence to MPs at the Transport Select Committee, on the proposed  3rd runway, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed those living in areas like Greater Manchester ‘needed Heathrow’ to sustain business links with the world. But Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, has accused him of making ‘misleading claims’ about its importance to Manchester passengers – and the UK economy. Holland-Kaye also claimed that the services Manchester had won – like Cathay Pacific’s direct route to Hong Kong – were thanks to Heathrow trail-blazing the route first. He tried to make out that Heathrow has a ‘unique’ position in providing long haul routes to countries like China, despite Manchester’s existing Beijing route along with Guangzhou and Shanghai services in the pipeline. Heathrow clams these are vital for business, despite admitting most passengers are not on business – they just facilitate more flights to destinations where business might be done. Heathrow always says, as its mantra, that “only” Heathrow can provide “connectivity” to world destinations. Andrew Cowan said Heathrow continues to make misleading claims about its benefit to the UK economy, and Heathrow “is far from being unique in connecting UK businesses to global markets.” Manchester is important for the Northern Powerhouse, jobs in the north and rebalancing UK economic growth.

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Transport for the North to become statutory body

Legislation to turn the Transport for the North (TfN) partnership into a statutory sub-national transport body – with legal powers and duties – was laid in Parliament on November 16. TfN consists of 19 local authorities, business leaders and 11 local enterprise partnership areas. Once approved, TfN would become a statutory body with effect from April 1 2018, with powers which would include producing a statutory transport strategy for northern England which the government must formally consider when taking funding decisions. It may be given more powers in future. The Rail North association of local authorities will become part of TfN, and work with the DfT to co-manage the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises. The DfT has confirmed £150m is being given to TfN for smart ticketing, £60m for Northern Powerhouse Rail and £50m to run TfN.  It is hoped that new powers for TfN will give it greater influence over national infrastructure decisions. TfN Chair John Cridland. ‘This is a 30-year transport strategy for the North that will help drive economic growth in the region and help to rebalance the UK economy.” There has been a lot of anger about the imbalance in spending on transport in the UK, with London and the south east getting a huge proportion. Manchester airport sees itself as key, rather than just Heathrow.

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UK and China renew bilateral deal so each could have 100 return flights (up from 40) per week

The DfT has renewed the bilateral aviation agreement with China, to allow more weekly flights between the two countries. Until now, the limit had been 40 flights by UK airlines to China per week, and 40 flights by Chinese airlines to the UK. This has been raised to 100 flights each. There will be no limit on the number of all-cargo services (but most Heathrow freight goes as belly hold, not separate freighter). Currently Chinese airlines operate 38 flights a week between the two countries, and UK airlines operate 29. (Not enough demand for the 40). The only UK airports that have flights to China are Heathrow and Manchester. The earlier deal was that any UK airline could serve a maximum of 6 separate airports in China. Now UK airlines can operate to anywhere in mainland China. Laying on the hype, Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said the deal was a “big moment for the UK”. However, airlines will have to decide whether it makes sense to use the extra capacity to offer new Chinese flights to and from China, with doubtful demand, when transatlantic routes are more profitable. The hope is probably for more UK business and UK exports. The DfT ignores the problem that the UK imports from China more than twice as much as it exports to China. More flights may exacerbate that. House of Commons Library data says that: “In 2014, UK exports to China were worth £18.7 billion. Imports from China were £38.3 billion. The UK had a trade deficit of £19.6 billion with China.” Flights to and from Hong Kong are in a separate bilateral deal.

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Manchester Airport MD says UK needs a national aviation policy to address north-south economic divide

Ken O’Toole, who is the Managing Director of Manchester airport, (and on the board of Manchester Airports Group), says government ‘paranoia’ over Heathrow expansion harms efforts to close the north-south economic divide – and this means the “northern powerhouse” risks being derailed. He says there is an “over-emphasis on the south-east at the expense of everywhere else”. Ministers needed to draw up a national aviation policy to address the north-south economic divide. Though he was confident that Theresa May’s government was supportive of ex-chancellor George Osborne’s “northern powerhouse” agenda, there was a lack of a national aviation policy behind the strategy. Manchester airport is part of the northern powerhouse agenda, in part because it deals with much of the business travel into the north of England. The MAG owns Manchester and Stansted airports, the 3rd and 4th largest by passenger numbers in the UK. With the over-emphasis on the south east, Mr O’Toole believes the south east should not over-shadow the north or the rest of the UK. Manchester airport is the only airport other than Heathrow, with two runways. While it has 25 million (or fewer till recently) passengers per year it has capacity for 55 million, and “could overtake Gatwick to become the UK’s second-biggest airport within 15 to 20 years.”

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Manchester Airport rubbishes claims Heathrow expansion is crucial for Northern Powerhouse to succeed

The boss of Manchester Airport, Ken O’Toole, has rubbished Heathrow’s claims that a new London runway is crucial to the Northern Powerhouse. He argues that Manchester is an international airport in its own right with many direct long-haul routes. He says Manchester airport could make up any long haul capacity gap over the next 15 years and beyond “if the country adopts a culture of healthy competition.” Manchester started a direct service to Beijing last week, giving the North its first ever non-stop flight to mainland China. But Heathrow continually tries to persuade that, without a third Heathrow runway, northern businesses would lose “up to £710m” per year. Manchester airport believes it can have a range of long haul flights, not only to tourist destinations – mentioning important markets like “Singapore, Hong Kong, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and, from next March, San Francisco.” If people can get flights to these destinations direct from Manchester, they do not need to – inconveniently – travel via Heathrow. Ken O’Toole says some 22 million people live within two hours’ drive of Manchester Airport. They have a huge amount of spare capacity on their two runways. Heathrow is very nervous of losing the transfer traffic it cannot manage without, to either other hubs like Schiphol or Dubai – or the growth of airports like Manchester.

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Hainan Airlines direct flights (4 per week) from Manchester to Beijing start on June 10th

Hainan Airlines will start flying (4 times per week) from Manchester Airport to Beijing from June 10th, as the first direct service from the north of England to mainland China. There are already flights from Manchester to Hong Kong. Some businesses including tourism hope this “will deliver a major boost to the region.” The University of Manchester is reported to believe the link will be a significant benefit to students. Faster air links to emerging markets could boost UK exports (they could also boost UK imports, which generally exceed exports). There are the usual comments like: “The Manchester Airport expansion shows that the city is ready to become an outward looking economic powerhouse” and there is even an expectation that it “will deliver an economic boost to the UK worth £250m” (no details or time-scale given …. it never is). Currently, more than 100,000 people from the North (about 6,350 from North Wales) fly to mainland China every year but have to travel indirectly via London or other overseas hubs. Manchester hopes that the flights will bring “hundreds of thousands of tourists to this part of the world every year.” North Wales Tourism and Bangor University have both praised the new service to Beijing and hope it “will unlock new opportunities for the area.” Many thousands more people will not need to use Heathrow for their travel to China.

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Manchester airport granted planning consent for huge programme of building works on terminals etc

Manchester airport has huge expansion plans. The City Council’s planning committee has approved part of a £1bn building plan. The Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) will expand and reconfigure Terminal 2, as a “super terminal” with a new elevated road, and a 7-storey car park and also reconfigure Terminal 3. It wants to demolish Terminal One and its car park. The airport hopes over the next decade the project “will see the airport continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North.” The airport sees itself as a key part of the Northern Powerhouse idea. The expansion will also create space for 50 food and retail businesses – (airports need to boost profits.) Local Ringway Parish Council are deeply opposed to the planned developments, and say the airport is “our worse enemy.” They have been fighting the airport’s plans for decades. Ringway PC says the impact on the environment will be ‘massive’. “They build on farmland, knock down old houses and they just don’t care. They don’t care about the environment, about small villages being decimated …It’s a one-sided exercise, because planning applications from the airport will always be waved through.” The building will overshadow local houses, make the roads busier and worsen noise pollution.

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Direct flights from Manchester to Beijing, starting June 2016, announced on President Xi’s UK visit

Manchester airport started Cathay Pacific direct flights to Hong Kong in December 2014. Now with the state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK, the first ever direct air link between Beijing and Manchester has been formally unveiled. President Xi was joined at the airport by David Cameron for the announcement of the Hainan Airlines service, which will fly four times per week, from June 2016. There are the usual claims of huge impacts on the economy with the link contributing “£50m annually to the city’s economy” and the usual mentions of both economies being “open for business.” Also the “northern powerhouse.” There are also other “substantial cooperation agreements” being signed between the two countries, covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, scientific innovation, manufacturing and sports. The Manchester Airports Group has been keen to get direct Beijing flights for years, to link northern businesses to the Far East economies – and get high spending tourists. The Chinese state-owned Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG) has already invested heavily in Manchester’s “Airport City.” There is also to be a £130 million ‘China Cluster’ to provide a commercial base for Chinese businesses arriving in the UK, based around two campuses within the Manchester Airport City development.

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Owner of Manchester and Stansted airports, MAG, unsurprisingly wants airport growth outside the south-east

The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) which owns/runs Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports) says a new strategy is needed to promote local airports rather than investing in a megahub in the south-east. MAG wants a nationwide network of competing airports rather than investing all energies — and taxpayer funding — in an even larger airport in the south-east. While Heathrow claims it would provide a significant net benefit to northern England, allegedly “with the creation of up to 26,400 manufacturing jobs”, the Airports Commission’s own figures show negative impacts of a 3rd Heathrow runway on the UK’s regional airports. MAG believes that the expansion of local airports would provide a greater boost to the nation, and provide “an important catalyst for rebalancing UK plc.” So unsurprisingly Heathrow and MAG are both speaking from a position of self interest. While the Airports Commission ended up, misguidedly, just looking at whether they should be a runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, the main question of whether there should be a new runway in the south east at all still needs a convincing answer. MAG believes there is more likelihood of a successful “Northern Powerhouse” if northern airports get successful long haul routes, rather than Heathrow.

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MAG hopes to invest in airport upgrade to be hub for “Northern Powerhouse”

26.7.2015

Manchester Airports Group could raise up to £400 million from the bond market next year as part of a £1 billion upgrade programme for its flagship airport. MAG’s chief financial officer Neil Thompson said that raising finance from bond or debt investors was one option the firm would explore over 12 to 18 months. It is looking to spend £1 billion at Manchester so that it can act as the hub airport for the “Northern Powerhouse” that the Government wants to develop to counter London’s dominance. MAG, which also owns Stansted in Essex, is the largest UK-owned airport operator. Thompson said that it is in talks with Middle Eastern carriers and BA owner IAG about offering long-haul services out of Stansted.
Last week MAG said that pre-tax profits had risen by 11.8 per cent to £90.3million and revenues by 10 per cent to £738.4 million. MAG is deeply opposed to a new runway at Heathrow or Gatwick, and the huge sums of public money needed to be spent on either, for infrastructure.

http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/593862/Invest-in-airport-upgrade


 

Stansted and Manchester airports growing rapidly, with huge spare capacity

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), owners of Stansted and Manchester airports, have announced “unrivalled growth” last year in its annual results. Stansted is hopeful that it can grow significantly in coming years, from the strength of its region and catchment area. The number of passengers at Manchester airport rose last year (to 31st March) by 7.2% to 22.3 million in the year to March 31, the number at Stansted rose by 16.1%. MAG revenue increased by 10% to £738.4m and operating profits by more than 30% to £153.6m. The proportion of business passengers at Stansted was reported to have risen by 20%. (It was 14.2% of passengers in 2013). MAG says when it bought Stansted from BAA at the start of 2013, the estimated gross value added to the local economy was £750m – it is now estimated to be more than £1 billion. Stansted wants better train services with both a faster railway and one that has more resilience. Stansted has runway capacity to double its current number of passengers, to 35 million per year, and its CEO has been working to try to get more long haul flights. Previous flights to the USA have not been profitable. MAG will continue its investment in Stansted facilities beyond the current £265 million programme which is 50% complete.

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Manchester Airport £1 billion plans to improve airport to compete better with Heathrow on long haul routes

The owners of Manchester Airport, MAG, plan to invest £1 billion over 10 years to upgrade Britain’s 3rd largest airport and help it compete harder with Heathrow for passengers. While both Heathrow and Gatwick are hoping to be allowed to add another runway, Manchester has two runways already – the second barely used. It has been expanding its long-haul routes, giving passengers an alternative to travelling south to Heathrow, and it plans to add more such routes. Its CEO, Charlie Cornish said: “Over the next 10 years, the airport will continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK.” Even if a new runway in the south east is approved (a big IF) it would take at least 10 years to build and in that time other UK airports, such as Birmingham and Manchester will have the chance to add new flights to new destinations – some assisting business travel. The number of air passengers at Manchester rose last year by 6% and may rise by 5% in 2015-16 period. Manchester airport expansion fits in with George Osborne’s hopes of improving road and rail links between northern English cities to create a conurbation with the scale and resources to compete with London. A new south east runway would, by contrast, just worsen the north-south divide.

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Knutsford Council urged to lobby Manchester airport over possible increase in night flights

Councillors in Knutsford are planning to lobby Manchester Airport on concerns about more night flights over the town. Knutsford is only a few kilometres from the end of the runway. Map. A Knutsford councillor, who is on the airport’s community relations team, was informed by the airport’s management that Terminal 2 is set to double in size, with plans for more night flights to cope with increased traffic. This will affect Knutsford. Currently, an agreement curtails night flights – take offs and landings – but circumstances will change with both the expansion and the ending of the current arrangements in 2017. The council need to lobby on details of the timing of those night flights. The airport statement gave the usual bland assurances about “improving the passenger and airline experience” and having controls on night noise that are “amongst the toughest in the UK ” and balancing the “interests of our local communities and the demand from our passengers to fly.” Sadly, the benefit tot he airlines and passengers generally trumps the interests of the residents. Manchester Airport allows a large number of night flights already – with a limit of around 11,000 per year (7% of the total flights). That can work out to more than 45 per night, in the period from 23:30 to 06.00.   Manchester’s Night Noise Policy 2012 – 2017.

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Manchester Airport hopes to have over 30 million passengers per year by 2025

Manchester Airports Group boss Charlie Cornish says he hopes 30 million people will be using Manchester airport within 10 years. He also hopes it will have 55 million passengers in due course. The airport has finally this year reached its pre-recession level of 22 million passengers and is aiming to have 23.5 million next year. He said: “In three years, Manchester Airport will be vastly different to what it is today and in three years, it will be hugely different.” He hailed the success of Cathay Pacific’s direct route to Hong Kong, launched in December, which may increase to a daily service. He said rail links were very important: “If you have got northern cities linking to Manchester Airport, that allows Manchester Airport to operate more as a true northern gateway and will give people very quick and very efficient access to us….That will lead to the opportunity for more long haul flights and, in turn, the creation of economic wealth….HS2 is an interesting one. Northern cities have to take account of the fact it is a huge opportunity and it is a huge risk, as it will take people both north and south …”

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Manchester wants to persuade more in its catchment area not to fly via London airports

Manchester airport, the only UK airport apart from Heathrow to have two runways, had around 22 million passengers per year in 2005 and 2006, but then slumped down to a low point of 17.7 million by 2010. Passenger numbers have now grown, to return to the high point of 2006, and Manchester airport is feeling confident. It chief commercial officer says that their customers – leisure travellers and businesses – say they often prefer flying from Manchester, rather than having to travel to a London airport. However, around 4 million passengers from the airport’s catchment area still make the unnecessary journey to London airports every year. Manchester hopes to encourage more routes and better frequency services, to win these passengers and deter them from using London. He hopes this would help ease congestion at the London airport. Manchester is hoping to win increasing numbers of passengers, and it has its “Airport City” project close to the airport and hopes to “bolster our city’s growing presence as an international business and leisure destination.” The Greater Manchester built up area is the 2nd largest in the UK, after London, with a population of about 2.6 million, compared to about 9.8 million in London. There is logic in using Manchester’s capacity rather than building another south east runway.

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Manchester airport hope its first direct flight to Hong Kong will bring business and tourism boost

There is now a new direct Cathay Pacific flight from Manchester to China (Hong Kong), avoiding the need to hub via Heathrow, or any other European airport. This makes Manchester the first airport outside London to offer a non-stop direct route to China – which may be a boost to the region’s economy. There will be 4 flights per week. The airport hopes rich Chinese visitors – as well as business people – will come direct to Manchester, rather than all going to London. Manchester’s “Airport City” has had key investment from the Beijing Construction and Engineering Group. It has taken Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airports Group, 3 years to secure the link. Mr Cornish has been appealed to the Airports Commission to ensure the country’s future aviation needs are met by a ‘network of regional airports’ – rather than money ploughed solely into Gatwick and Heathrow. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, which can carry 300 passengers. From Hong Kong, passengers can connect to 22 cities in mainland China. As they have done successfully from flights from Heathrow for decades – without more direct city links from Heathrow. The UK has always had good links to Hong Kong, for historical reasons.

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Qatar Airways to increase Manchester flights

26 Nov 2014

Qatar Airways is to increase capacity on its Doha-Manchester route to make it double-daily service. The airline is currently operating 10 weekly flights on the route but this will increase to twice per day (ie. 14) from February 16, 2015 using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.   Qatar Airways is also planning to increase its Dreamliner service to Edinburgh from five-times weekly to daily (ie. 7)  from May 2015.   As part of its expansion of flights to Europe, the airline will increase Doha to Copenhagen frequencies from 7 to 11 per week, while Doha-Stockholm services will go from 7 to 10 per week. Both changes will take affect from February 2015.  Link 


 

Manchester City chief slams Heathrow’s ‘desperate’ attempt to woo Manchester business leaders

Heathrow has been working hard to try to get support for its 3rd runway from Chambers of Commerce across the country. It has been offering the Chambers in the north west around £3,000 to fund events to pitch their runway case. They want the regions to believe they risk losing their link to Heathrow if there is no new runway. Manchester Chamber of Commerce declined the offer, and Manchester Council leader Sir Richard Leese described Heathrow’s approach as ‘desperate’. He said: “I don’t think we should be supporting the Heathrow expansion plan. I think increasingly, evidence says that we don’t need the hub airport and what we ought to do is make better use of the network airports – including Manchester Airport…. What you see is both Heathrow and Gatwick increasingly losing the argument and getting increasingly desperate – as shown in this case. …. Why do our members want to traipse down to London when they can use the airport round the corner?” 25 Chambers have backed Heathrow, but Sir Richard Leese says of them they are getting an unbalanced view from Heathrow. “Perhaps I ought to write to London Chamber of Commerce to set up a meeting for Manchester Airport.”

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Manchester Airports boss deeply critical of likelihood of large public subsidy aiding Heathrow or Gatwick runway

The CEO of Manchester Airports group, Charlie Cornish, has protested about the likelihood of public funds being used to assist a new south east runway. He says:  “Given the private interests at stake, adopting a special set of rules that favours the delivery of new capacity over the use of existing capacity, will have profound adverse consequences for competition and consumers in the long-run.”  More public funds for London airports does not help regional airports. The Commission, in its consultation documents on Heathrow and Gatwick runway plans, does not give specific figures on anticipated public subsidy.  But it comments there “may be a case” for some funding by the public sector. Equally, if the airport benefits from surface transport paid for by the taxpayer “may mean that a contribution from the scheme promoter to these costs is justified.” State aid rules may also require an airport operator to make an appropriate payment, if it benefits from a surface access scheme. “The Government would need to reach its own view on the level of public investment that can be justified.”

http://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/11/manchester-airports-boss-deeply-critical-of-likelihood-of-large-public-subsidy-aiding-heathrow-or-gatwick-runway/


 

NATS retains air traffic control with MAG for 10 years. Also 2 more years at Luton. Lost Gatwick in July

NATS has signed a 10-year deal with Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to provide air traffic control and engineering services at Manchester and Stansted airports, both owned by MAG. By number of passengers, they are the 3rd and 4th largest in the UK. The contract starts on April 1, 2015. MAG hopes both Manchester & Stansted will be growing rapidly. Earlier in August it was announced that NATS had signed an agreement with Luton Airport (the 5th largest in the UK) to extend the current contract for air traffic provision by two years, so it now ends in November 2017. This was agreed after a competitive tendering process. “NATS will also continue to provide approach services as part of its management of the London Terminal Manoeuvring Area, one of the most complex and busiest areas of airspace in the world.” NATS also hopes to make money out of its growth in air traffic, which is plans to increase to 18 million passengers per year by 2031. NATS makes more money the larger the number of planes using the airports it works for, and en route using any UK airspace. NATS lost the contact for Gatwick to German rival, DFS in July

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Airport boost from non-stop Toronto flight from Manchester 

27.6.2014

A non-stop flight from Manchester Airport to Toronto has been launched. The Air Canada rouge Toronto service will depart from Manchester 5 times per week.  Air Canada rouge is Air Canada’s leisure carrier subsidiary.  Robert Atkinson, Air Canada’s General Manager in the UK and northern Europe, said Manchester will benefit economically and jobs will be created. Air Canada previously operated a direct service between Manchester and Toronto in a joint venture with BMI between summer 2004 and September 2007. Mr Atkinson added: “As well as benefiting from direct access to our Toronto hub, customers in northern England will now be able to take advantage of convenient onward connections to destinations across North America, the Caribbean and Latin America.”  ie. passengers on the holidays will not need to go via a London hub airport.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-airport-air-canada-rouge-7339503


 

More flights from Manchester to USA taking pressure off south east airports

Flights by American Airlines have started from Manchester to Charlotte in North Carolina, and will run every day until the end of September. Airport and airline bosses heralded the flight as a boost for both the airport and Manchester. The airline says “Manchester has been a hugely important city for American Airlines for many years and we are thrilled to add this flight to Charlotte…. It will bring in around 200 passengers every day…..Next year, we hope to run them for longer. In terms of American Airlines, we have a massive presence in the US and Charlotte is our second biggest hub. ….This is putting Manchester in line with our other destinations like Madrid and Rome.” American Airlines already flies from Manchester to Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. The airline CEO said most passengers are expected to originate from America – looking to fly into the north of England.”The biggest growth in airlines is down to people visiting friends and family, and Manchester has a catchment area of 22m.” More international flights from the regional airports mean less pressure to expand airports in the south east. Or to build a new south east runway. Manchester’s 2nd runway is hardly used.

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Residents fear Manchester longer operating hours will mean more noise

April 14, 2014

Manchester airport has decided to extend the operating hours of its second runway. The airport built a 2nd runway, back in 2001 when it thought there would be an expansion in demand. They forecast badly, the estimates were far too high, and the runway is barely used. The airport only had some 20.6 million passengers in 2013, while over 30 million could be accommodated on one runway. Now Manchester has decided to increase the hours when flights use the 2nd runway for 3 hours per day. The hours were 4pm to 8pm, but these will be increased to 1pm to 8pm from Monday to Saturday. The decision comes after a trial last summer, and will come into force on May 1st. The 2nd runway cannot be used from 10pm to 6am, to avoid noise to local residents. In 2013 Manchester airport had a 5.2% increase in passengers over 2012, the first time it got over the 20 million mark since 2007. Manchester hopes to have a direct flight to Hong Kong from December 2014. People are worried that the extra operating hours will mean an unpleasant increase in noise.      Click here to view full story…

 

 

Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone causing piecemeal environmental destruction of Green Belt countryside

February 25, 2014

The new Manchester Airport Enterprise Zone is causing the piecemeal environmental destruction of Green Belt countryside. There are local concerns that airport-centric urban sprawl is destroying green space and open countryside, and locking in reliance on fossil fuel intensive infrastructure. The development of an Enterprise Zone, link road and 9,000-space car park is proceeding apace in the face of resistance from local communities. Planning permission is being granted in a piecemeal fashion, so there is little publicity of, or opportunity to oppose, the overarching goal: increasing climate damaging transportation. Construction of a key component of the Zone, the World Logistics Hub, with 43 warehouses, office space and a 1,473 space car park has already begun. Earthworks, tree felling and installation of drainage are already under way, and wildlife and habitats are being destroyed. There are likely to be fewer new jobs than expected, as many will just move in from elsewhere for the tax breaks and subsidies. Government backing for the Enterprise Zone suggests a desperate shortage of business space in the area. In fact, there is a surfeit of empty offices, warehouses and paved areas. More detail from Rose Bridger.      Click here to view full story…

 

George Osborne kicks off Northern Hub investment with start of 4th platform at Manchester Airport station

February 7, 2014

George Osborne has launched the start of work to build a 4th platform at Manchester airport’s railway station. This marks the start of the £600n Northern Hub project. The airport says the 4th platform project – costing £20m – will be delivered 18 months earlier than hoped, with works carried out in parallel to the expansion of Metrolink lines to the airport. It is due to be completed by the end of 2015. The aim is to lay more track to improve the region’s heavily-congested rail network, on which other work is also ongoing. The local MP talked about how this rail platform will help us to “compete in the global race” !? The hope is that better rail in the north of England will “ensure growth is not concentrated in any one place by keeping Britain connected and creating thousands of local jobs, delivering a brighter economic future for the whole country.” The airport said the new rail scheme would be “key to boosting passenger numbers, luring businesses to its £800m Airport City scheme”. The Beijing Construction Engineering Group is teaming-up with Manchester Airports Group, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and UK construction firm Carillion to invest in the project, “which aims to create up to 16,000 jobs.”

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Manchester Airport City to boost its marketing efforts to attract global companies

February 7, 2014

Manchester airports “Airport City” says it will be a “£800 million landmark property development, creating a globally connected business destination” and a “vibrant economic hub with connectivity at its heart, the UK’s first Airport City will provide 5m sq ft of development, a mix of offices, hotels, advanced manufacturing, logistics and warehousing. Airport City is expected to be one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK since the 2012 Olympics redevelopment”. It executives are now trying to create thousands of jobs by luring global firms to the area. They have now appointed two Manchester marketing agencies,Start JudgeGill and theEword to “focus on a strong and impactful international strategy to take Airport City to key territories” such as China and the Middle East. Airport City sits at the heart of Greater Manchester’s Enterprise Zone, which means companies relocating there can get tax breaks and other incentives. Last year, a deal was done to secure investment in the scheme from the Beijing Construction and Engineering Group. Meanwhile work is starting on a 4th platform at the airport’s rail station, which the airport say is key to boosting passenger numbers, and luring businesses to its Airport City scheme.    Click here to view full story…

 

Liverpool John Lennon Airport aiming to win over 1m people who prefer to fly out of Manchester

January 29, 2014

Liverpool John Lennon Airport wants to win over the 1 million Merseysiders who currently fly from Manchester Airport each year.The loss making airport said it was “absolutely” certain that it will secure new bank banking facilities before the March 31 deadline. The ambition to lure local passengers away from Manchester was part of an overall strategy aimed at restoring passenger growth at Liverpool airport, which lost over 1 million passengers in 2013, compared to 2011. Liverpool airport says it has conducted market research that shows Merseysiders would prefer to fly from Liverpool rather than Manchester, if flights were available. But they are not. “People said they wanted to keep money in the Liverpool economy” (by taking cheap flights abroad to spend their holiday money elsewhere??). In recent years, JLA has lost market share to Manchester as its rival began targeting no-frills airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair that have traditionally been Liverpool’s biggest customers. Liverpool wants more low cost destinations. Their accounts show they made a pre-tax losses of £7.1m in the year to March 2013 and another £6.5m the previous year. Earlier this week, Norwegian Airlines said it was withdrawing its route to Copenhagen.

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Easyjet’s Manchester to Moscow direct flights to be cut next summer – more sunny tourist destinations instead

Date added: December 11, 2013

In March, EasyJet launched the Moswow route with the expectation of carrying around 60,000 passengers during the first year, with 4 flights every week. But from May to September there will be just 2. There isn’t the demand. Instead EasyJet (what a surprise) will put on extra flights to Mediterranean holiday destinations – to meet their “customers’ needs”. The Moscow flights were heralded as critical to the strategy to see North West firms increase their presence in emerging markets and away from its current reliance on the EU. A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We’re disappointed to lose frequency on Moscow but pleased to see that the capacity will be used on increased flights to popular destinations such as Athens and Thessaloniki….The Moscow route remains important for businesses based in the North West which are looking to serve new markets such as Russia and is helping to increase trade between the two regions.” It is claimed “Manchester’s exports to Russia have grown by 27% in the last two years.” The airport says it has 190 direct destinations.Manchester had 24% of its passengers travelling on business in 2012.     Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester airport 28.5 ha car park in public safety zone given go-ahead, despite safety fears from residents

October 26, 2013

.Plans for a ‘gigantic’ 9,000-space car park under Manchester Airport’s flight path have been approved – despite claims it is an accident ‘waiting to happen’. Manchester council agreed the proposals at its latest planning meeting, prompting shock from local residents. The airport says it needs the long-stay facility, near the Moss Nook area of Wythenshawe, to replace a 3,000-space car park being lost to part of the Airport City development. The airport claims it would cut traffic and pollution. But the plans will mean building in the airport’s ‘public safety zone’ – the area around the end of a busy runway that is usually left undeveloped to protect people from planes. The risk of a plane crashing, on landing or take-off, is highest there. Residents and ward councillors fear any future plane crash would cause a massive explosion because thousands of petrol tanks would be in one place. Petitions containing more than 2,200 signatures were submitted opposing the move, along with 34 formal letters of objections, while local ward councillors had already voted against it last month. The car park will take uk at least 28.5 hectares of green land.     Click here to view full story…

 

The chancellor has all but signed a deal with China’s largest bank to invest in a huge infrastructure project near Manchester

4.10.2013    George Osborne has secured investment from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China into Manchester’s new Airport City enterprise zone. The bank – China’s largest – will sign the deal (figure unknown) when Osborne visits Beijing the week after next.  There will be some 5 million square feet of offices, shops and parkland across 150 acres. They claim it will generate some 16,000 jobs over the next few years. The investment is one of the first major forays by a Chinese financier outside London. Although, according to US think tank the Heritage Foundation, Chinese investors have ploughed nearly $18bn into British projects since 2005 – a third of which has happened since last year and $2.5bn of which has been this year – most of that has gone into London and the South East.  link

 

Greater Manchester town halls share in £48m bonanza from MAG’s extra large dividend

July 31, 2013      The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) owns Manchester Airport, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports, and now Stansted. MAG is owned by the 10 councils of Greater Manchester. Manchester City Council owns 35.5%, and 9 authorities, the Metropolitan Boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, together with Salford City Council, collectively own 29%. Australian investment fund Industry Funds Management owns 35.5%. MAG has made a greatly enlarged dividend to its shareholders, through buying Stansted and the large investment from IFM. MAG has agreed to increase its dividend from £20m in 2012 to £72m, which includes an additional one-off dividend of £30m. From this £48m will be shared between Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities, with Manchester getting some £26 million of it and the remaining 9 sharing some £22 million, in proportion to their shares. In contrast the dividend has been £20m for the past 4 years. Manchester Airport has been in public ownership since 1938, and public money has been invested in it. The councils benefiting say they do not spend the money on specific projects, but subtract it from the total amount they must save after government cuts. It may be used partly to invest in the local economy, to raise skills and create jobs.      Click here to view full story…

 

Emirates considers direct flights to the USA from UK northern airports, not Heathrow

July 26, 2013     Dubai’s Emirates Airline is interested in getting into the competitive transatlantic market, and offer flights from Dubai to the US via the UK. This market is currently dominated by BA, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Emirates will need to get regulatory approval first. Emirates believes there is strong unmet demand for flights from the north of England to the USA and last year carried 800,000 passengers on its routes in and out of its hubs in the north of England: Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham. There are growing numbers of Emirates passengers and services from these northern UK airports. In October, Emirates will launch flights from Dubai to New York via Milan. Their UK vice president said they are asking the Airports Commission to look at making all the regional airports completely open skies, so anyone can fly anywhere. If they use the northern airports, there is less pressure on the south east airports, and less rationale for building another runway. “Heathrow sits in the south of England, but Manchester has a bigger catchment area in terms of a two-hour drive.” If Emirates goes through with the plan BA and Virgin will be the big losers.    Click here to view full story..

 

Funding confirmed for enterprise zone projects – 2 at airports

10 June 2013     .

The government has confirmed a £104 million funding package to progress work on 18 infrastructure projects across 13 enterprise zones.  Among the projects to secure the funding is the creation of a new business park adjacent to Newquay Airport in Cornwall. The package, which combines £45 million from government housing and regeneration agency the Homes & Communities Agency with £59 million from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund.  Eric Pickles said: “The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in”. DCLG said the successful proposals would now undergo “further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer”.  The enterprise zone projects to secure funding include:  Aerohub Business Park, Newquay, Cornwall: Investment to support the creation of a new business Park adjacent to Newquay Airport, aiming to develop new aerospace related employment;  And Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone: Funding to upgrade and install roads and junctions, services and public realm for two sites that will provide more than 230,000 square metres of employment floorspace at Manchester Airport;  http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/1185661

 

Manchester Council to cut share in MAG from 55% to 35.5% and 9 other councils cut theirs from 45% to 29%

January 22, 2013    The Manchester Evening News looked at the recent purchase of Stansted airport, by MAG, and assessed what this means for Manchester taxpayer, Manchester airport and the region. 10 councils currently own MAG and they have not had to pay anything towards the deal. The cash has been raised through a combination of MAG selling a 35.5% stake in itself to IFM and agreeing a new debt package with its banks. The deal will see Manchester Council reduce its stake in MAG from 55% to 35.5%. The other 9 councils, which currently have a 5% stake each, will share equally the remaining 29% of MAG. After buying Stansted, MAG will control nearly 19% of the UK aviation market, and this may strengthen its bargaining power when negotiating with airlines. The 10 councils hope to get a larger annual dividend now. In 2012, £20m was paid out, of which £11m went to Manchester and £1m each to the other 9 councils. MAG hopes to increase profits at Stansted, which is operating now at 47% of capacity, by increasing income from shops, restaurants and bars.    Click here to view full story…

Outline planning application for Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone “Airport City” approved

January 18, 2013  Following on from the approval given to the £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport in November, outline plans for a 2nd major development, Airport City North, are now at the public consultation stage. Residents have until Thursday 20th December to submit their comments, when the plans go before the Wythenshawe Area Planning Committee. They will then go to the Manchester City Council Planning and Highways Committee meeting on 17th January (tbc) for the final decision. It is intended that the 65-acre site will become a ‘Major International Business Park’, containing 4182 car parking spaces, 1293 hotel rooms, manufacturing, offices and retail space. The plans (application no. 100831) are available on Manchester City Council’s Planning website, and comments can be submitted by email. The World Logistics Hub is just part of the project. Others are MedCity with the University Hospital South Manchester Foundation Trust.  Click here to view full story…

 

Reminder from Manchester airport of just what a large % of UK air passengers are on leisure trips

January 10, 2013    Manchester airport is happy to promote itself as playing a vital role in boosting the UK economy, providing business links, attracting inward investment and promoting trade etc. However, CAA data in the Air Passenger Survey of 2011 show only around 18% of Manchester’s passengers were on business. The airport enthused before Christmas about how busy it was, and “Around 620,000 passengers are set to travel through Manchester Airport over the Christmas and New Year holiday period – an increase of 4.5% or 27,000 on the same period last year (593,000).” And not a mention of any business travellers at all. So much for the claims that UK air travel is of huge benefit to the UK economy. In reality, most air travel is by leisure passengers, who are then likely to take money out of the UK on their trips, contributing to the annual tourism deficit. The top summer destination from Manchester is the Canary Islands, followed by Turkey, Greece, the Balearic Islands, and Tunisia. So much for boosting business links.  Click here to view full story…

 

 

Outline planning application consultation till 20th December on Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone

December 10, 2012   Following on from the approval given to the £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport in November, outline plans for a 2nd major development, Airport City North, are now at the public consultation stage. Residents have until Thursday 20th December to submit their comments, when the plans go before the Wythenshawe Area Planning Committee. They will then go to the Manchester City Council Planning and Highways Committee meeting on 17th January (tbc) for the final decision. It is intended that the 65-acre site will become a ‘Major International Business Park’, containing 4182 car parking spaces, 1293 hotel rooms, manufacturing, offices and retail space. The plans (application no. 100831) are available on Manchester City Council’s Planning website, and comments can be submitted by email. The World Logistics Hub is just part of the project. Others are MedCity with the University Hospital South Manchester Foundation Trust.    Click here to view full story…

 

Approval granted for £100m Manchester Airport logistics hub covering 91 acres

November 25, 2012     Manchester Airport’s parent group MAG’s outline planning application has been approved for a 91.2 acres, £100 million world logistics hub in the southern part of Greater Manchester’s Airport City Enterprise Zone. The development will create 1.2 to 1.4 million sq ft of new logistics space. The airport hopes it will attract new international businesses and help existing airport businesses to expand, generating economic growth and – they claim” “over 1,800 new jobs” (in reality, many of those jobs are transferred from elsewhere). Some of the site will have new landscaping and natural habitats. Construction could begin by the end of the year. On 25th October, the local Wythenshawe Area Committee recommended the application for approval. Local opponents worry that it will result in serious loss of amenity, environmental damage for local people, and have serious consequences on local biodiversity and ecology.   Click here to view full story.

Protest wildlife walk against the proposed World Logistics Hub at Manchester airport

November 4, 2012      On Saturday 3rd November around 100 local residents and campaigners took part in a protest walk against the proposed £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport. The protesters braved the cold to take a route around the 90 acre former greenbelt site, which is threatened by the plans to build 43 cargo sheds and almost 1,500 car parking spaces. Local residents, wildlife enthusiasts and environmental campaigners spoke at various points along the walk, sharing their experiences of fighting Manchester Airport expansion and highlighting the numerous ways that the plans would affect local people and the environment. The Wildlife Walk came the week after the Wythenshawe Area Committee ‘recommended for approval’ the World Logistics Hub plans, on the 25th October. The application will now be sent to the Planning and Highways Committee at Manchester City Council for a final decision on 22nd November 2012. Campaigners argue that job creation figures proposed by the airport are inflated.    Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airport unveils plans to win back millions of passengers from London with new routes

November 14, 2012     Manchester Airport say they want to introduce direct services to major cities like Bangkok, Los Angeles and Beijing – which could mean millions of passengers a year not having to travel to London to fly. The airport’s chief commercial officer Ken O’Toole says 22 million people live within a 2-hour drive of Manchester Airport – the same catchment as Heathrow. But each year some 4 million of those travel to London airports, mainly because Manchester does not have direct services to some major cities. Manchester has opened new routes to cities such as Washington, Warsaw and Las Vegas this year. Mr O’Toole said 100,000 people within Manchester’s catchment area were flying to Hong Kong each year from London airports, as well as 60,000 to Beijing, 113,000 to Bangkok, 60,000 to Lahore, 50,000 to Delhi and 70,000 to Mumbai. Manchester Airport will next year launch a ‘Fly Manchester’ campaign, promoting their routes, especially to the Far East.     Click here to view full story…

Manchester airport bosses enlist Hallé Orchestra in bid to land China flights

September 21, 2012     Manchester Airport’s wants direct flights to China, which would make sense as there are some 9,000 flights per year between Manchester and Heathrow, some for transfers to China flights from Heathrow. Direct flights would make more sense. Manchester airport is supporting the Hallé Orchestra on its first tour of China, in a bid to boost trade and increase exports from the north west. The delegation will enjoy receptions at the British Ambassador’s residence in Beijing. Local businesses are being offered the chance to join the 11-day tour – and take part in the trade mission. Companies may be eligible for government grants to help with travel costs and UK Trade & Investments will help firms to identify potential customers or partners in China and arrange meetings to set up deals. The airport wants to attract Chinese firms to its “Airport City”.   Click here to view full story…

 

£100m Manchester airport cargo centre ‘will ruin our homes’ say opponents

September 1, 2012     Residents living near the proposed site of a new £100m World Logistics Hub at Manchester Airport have objected to it saying it could ruin their local area, destroy the countryside and devalue their homes. The airport has submitted an outline planning application for the ‘world-class’ cargo centre, which will form part of the £650m Airport City project – and claims it will create more than 1,800 jobs. The plans are for multiple freight units with 1.4 million sq ft of warehouse space, with 24-hour operations, creating considerable noise and light pollution on the surrounding area. The centre will provide cargo space for freight companies, with access to air and motorway links. its construction could start by the end of 2012.   Click here to view full story…

Virgin Atlantic set to fly between London and Manchester

August 21, 2012    Virgin Atlantic will start its first domestic service, between London and Manchester from the end of March 2013. Chief executive Steve Ridgway said this was in response to the takeover of bmi by IAG rather than Virgin Trains having lost the rail service between the two cities. BA had the only route between London and Manchester, since taking over bmi. Virgin wants to make “sure that BA doesn’t become a monopolist on all the routes bmi used to fly.” From March there will be 3 daily flights to Manchester using Airbus A319. Around 650,000 passengers fly between London and Manchester each year. Virgin already flies from Manchester to Barbados, Las Vegas and Orlando. Virgin may also use Heathrow slots for Scottish flights.    Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Airport unveils plans to concrete former greenbelt land with ‘World Logistics Hub’

August 19, 2012     Manchester Airport has announced plans to concrete over former greenbelt land (removed form the greenbelt in July 2012) around Sunbank Lane to make way for a ‘World Logistics Hub’. The area currently contains residential houses and green fields and also borders onto an SSSI. The plans involve construction of around 43 warehouses and office units of various sizes on land adjacent to the A538, as well as 1,473 car parking spaces, and form part of the wider Airport City Enterprise Zone. Though the airport anticipates many jobs being created over 15 years, it is likely many of these are jobs displaced from elsewhere as businesses relocate due to lower business rates. The Airport have published an ‘informal’ consultation document and intend to submit a formal planning application during August with a 21 day consultation.  Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airports Group secures £1bn boost to buy Stansted in deal with Australian investors

August 5, 2012    Manchester Airports Group has struck an £1bn deal with Australian investors in preparation to try and buy Stansted. The deal is conditional on the sale of Stansted going ahead. Australian infrastructure group, Industry Funds Management, has won the contest to buy a 35% stake in the MAG. This will lay the foundations for a takeover of Stansted. MAG is currently jointly owned by Greater Manchester’s ten town halls. The share of MAG owned by Manchester City Council would fall from 55% to 35%, and the other 9 councils would jointly have a 30% stake, down from 45%. Manchester council would have equal voting rights as IFM. All 10 town halls approved the new structure. However, BAA says it will now take its case to the Supreme Court after its case was rejected by UK Court of Appeal last week. MAG already owns Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports.   Click here to view full story…

600 homes to finally get £1,500 compensation for building of Manchester 2nd runway

June 15, 2012     Nearly 600 homeowners and 6 schools in Knutsford and Mobberley are to get a pay out for the building of Manchester Airport’s 2nd runway. This will come from the airport’s owner, the Manchester Airports Group. The householders say claimed their properties were devalued due to the noise from the planes since the runway opened in 2001. The schools will get £1,300 each. This has been brokered by local MP, the Chancellor George Osborne, and Jeff Gazzard. Two years ago 300 Knutsford and Mobberley residents were compensated. This is the final compensation and the end of an 11 year battle. The total payout comes to £1 million. The airport will also pay the council tax precept, £117,702. which is levied to fund Knutsford town council and Mobberley parish council, for one year.     Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester airport to help unemployed find work, but MAG jobs increases are not impressive

March 2, 2012      Manchester Airport has opened an academy to help unemployed people in Greater Manchester to get jobs in the travel trade. The training is being provided by tutors from Stockport College and is designed for the airport environment, making it one of the first projects of its kind in the world. They are given help with their CVs and presentation skills, with potential employers – ranging from airlines to shops based in the terminals – visiting the academy to interview the students when they have vacancies at the airport. Which is all lovely and very helpful. However, Manchester Airports Group Annual Report for 2010/2011 shows they only employed 16 more staff in 2011 than in 2010 (2,591 compared to 2,575). The number of extra staff at Manchester airport was 32, which was a rise of 1.6% while Manchester Airport’s number of passengers went up by 6.5%. Staff increases don’t keep pace with passenger increases, at MAG or at other UK airports.    Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester’s £650m Airport City master plan unveiled

January 12, 2012    Manchester Airports Group has produced its plans for an 150 acre Airport City , close to Manchester Airport. In April 2011 Government announced that Manchester Airport would be one of the first four Enterprise Zones, with Airport City at the core of the zone. The Airport City (also elsewhere called an Aerotropolis) would be in two zones, one with hotel, office, retail and advanced manufacturing space, and the other focusingn on freight and logistics. MAG will submit a planning application within weeks for the scheme’s main link road, with work set to start by spring and due for completion in 12-15 months. The rest of the building will take several years. MAG hopes to attract global businesses to work in their airport city, and create a project to compete with other locations in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Dusseldorf and Heathrow.  Click here to view full story…

 


Manchester Airport runway project completion date moved back again

10.11.11    The completion date for the refurbishment of runway one at Manchester Airport has been moved back again. In September the airport announced that the works would be complete by November 11, but this week it announced that the new finish date was December 21 because of problems with the new technology installed to operate the lights on the runway. The work started in January, and was expected to cost £20 million and to take eight months. A Manchester Airport spokesman told the Knutsford Guardian: ‘We have encountered some problems with the compatibility between the technology that is used to control the lighting circuits, which sadly means there is no alternative but to extend the closure period. Completion is now expected by Wednesday, December 21, and during this time runway one will continue to be closed at night, and runway two will be used between 21:30 and 06:00 Sunday to Thursday nights during these final weeks.’  UK Airport News

 

 

Report shows Manchester Airport is the ‘wrong place’ for an enterprise zone

9th August 2011      A new report from CPRE shows the Manchester Airport enterprise zone will undermine attempts at economic regeneration in other parts of the city. The research hits out at the Government’s decision to locate Greater Manchester’s enterprise zone (one of the first 4 “vanguard” enterprise zones announced in March) at Manchester Airport, saying the site is the “wrong” place for a zone. Areas other than the airport have more need for investment.      Click here to view full story…

Bmibaby to stop flying from Cardiff and Manchester

14th April 2011    Bmibaby has announced it will cease flying from Cardiff and Manchester airports from the end of this summer. The airline said it needed to focus on its more established routes during the current economic climate. As a result, four Bmibaby planes will be redeployed to Belfast, East Midlands and Birmingham  – the only UK airports from which it will fly.  It now operates 40 flights a week from Manchester and 30  from Cardiff to European destinations.   Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airport named as new enterprise zone

 25th March 2011      Manchester Airport has been named as one of the government’s 21 new “enterprise zones” announced in the Budget. It will have business rate discounts, simplified planning and access to superfast broadband. Called Airport City, the development will be run by the newly established Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, and claims it will create “between 7,000 and 13,000 jobs” though in effect some of these will be taken from elselwhere.      Click here to view full story…

Campaigners remain defiant after Manchester airport protest verdict and sentencing

22nd February 2011     Campaigners from the ‘Manchester Airport on Trial’ group were sentenced after a 2 day trial at Trafford Magistrates’ court. The judge recognised the “sincerity” and “laudable motives” of the protesters, and handed down lenient sentences of 2 year conditional discharges and £310 court costs. One defendant received 80 hours of community service. The 6 campaigners stood trial for an action last May 2010 where they formed a human circle around the wheel of a Monarch Airline jet.  Click here to view full story…

Start of 2nd trial of Manchester airport protestors: climate expert speaks out on aviation industry’s ‘special treatment’

 The trial of 6 climate protesters who breached airside security at Manchester Airport began today at Trafford Magistrates Court. They will plead not guilty to the charge of aggravated trespass after they formed a human circle around the wheel of a Monarch Airline jet in May 2010. The defendants argue they acted to prevent death and serious injury by stopping emissions from the airport. Leading scientist Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre spoke for the defence. He asked “Why is it fair that aviation continues to be a special case while every other sector has to reduce their emissions?”   21.2.2011  More …..

The Co-operative Bank; good with money or fantastic for aviation?

 10th January 2011     Environmentalists have been angered by the news that the Cooperative Bank has taken part in a refinancing deal for the development of Manchester Airport. The bank will provide £40 million over the next 5 years to MAG despite its much-vaunted ‘Ethical Investments Policy’ which includes mitigating the threat of climate change and a policy of opposing development of runways. The airport is responsible for around 5 m tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. (SEMA)   Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airports Group seals £280m refinancing

6th January 2011    MAG has completed a £280m five-year refinancing.  MAG, which owns Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside Airports, has agreed terms with 7 major lenders ahead of July – when its present facility was due to expire. Existing bankers Barclays the Co-operative Bank, Handelsbanken and RBS have been joined by Yorkshire Bank, Santander and  HSBC. Projects include resurfacing Runway 1 at Manchester and a terminal upgrade      Click here to view full story…

 

Residents demand compensation over night flights switch at Manchester Airport
6.1.2011

Residents are demanding compensation over night-time flights being switched during runway work at Manchester airport. A £20m refurbishment of the main runway has started, closing it at night for eight months. But people living near Runway Two claim their sleep patterns will be disturbed because night-time take-offs and landings are being moved there until September. The huge programme of work to overhaul Runway One started this week. It is the biggest ever refurbishment of the runway since the airport opened in 1938 but chiefs have stressed that passengers will not be affected. Now, Knutsford resident and airport campaigner Jeff Gazzard has hit out at the airport’s handling of the closure and called on bosses to pay compensation to those affected.   Link to article 

 

Manchester Airport On Trial. Day 2: Guilty verdicts, but the fight continues

8th December 2010
On the second day of the Manchester trial, the judge found Amanda Walters and
Mark Haworth guilty of obstructing the highway at the airport, back in May. They
were given fines of £175 an £250 respectively plus were ordered to pay £460 in
costs each plus a £15 ‘victim surcharge’ each. During the day, the court heard
that the expansion of the Airport would have significant impacts on local homes
and globally in contributing to climate change.         Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airport protest trial: Day 1

 6th December 2010
11  local campaigners were in courtfacing charges of obstructinh the highway.  9 of the  11 pleaded guilty, unable to bear the cost of a trial and were sentenced  with fines of on average £300 each.    The trial continues as  2 defendants plead not guilty, and  argue that due to the local democratic deficit and the threat to local homes, biodiversity spots and the climate from the expansion of the airport, their actions constituted a reasonable use of the highway.     Click here to view full story…

Manchester activists in Court for runway closure – Monday 6th December

4th December 2010
 In May 2010, 17 people staged a non violent direct action at Manchester Airport,
temporarily shutting it down. They did this to reduce CO2 emissions that the airport
is responsible for annually and in opposition to plans to destroy family homes
at Hasty Lane, and local biodiversity, to expand the World Freight Centre. The
first trial, of 11 people who  face charges of obstruction of the highway of the
road access to the World Freight Centre starts on 6th Dec.       Click here to view full story…

 

 

Nellie (the elephant in the room) drops in on Manchester City Council’s climate change conference

2nd December 2010
Campaigners from Manchester Climate Action took a giant white elephant (lovingly
named Nellie) to greet the public and organisations attending Manchester City
Council’s Climate Change stakeholder conference.   ‘Manchester: A Certain Furture’  set
targets for the city to reduce emissions 41% by 2020. However, this   doesn’t include
the flight emissions from Manchester Airport (55% owed by the city council and
the region’s biggest source of emissions).         Click here to view full story…

 

Thomas Cook holiday jet to Manchester survived bird strike after take off in Turkey

 12th November 2010
 A British holiday jet flying back to Manchester survived flying into a flock
of seagulls on take-off in Turkey. The “significant bird strike” led to birds
passing through both Rolls-Royce engines of the Boeing 757 said the AAIB. The
Thomas Cook Airlines flight landed safely in Manchester after flying from Dalaman
on 19 June. The extent of the damage was discovered on landing included a cracked
nose, landing gear light and dents in the engine intake cowlings.  (BBC)     Click here to view full story…

 

 

Airport may face more claims for compensation

Exclusive by Alice McKeegan September 11, 2010

Manchester Airport could be hit with more compensation claims – just weeks after agreeing a multi-million pound payout. In July, the M.E.N. revealed bosses reached a compensation package – over properties devalued by noise and fumes – with more than 330 residents of Mobberley and Knutsford in Cheshire, who lodged claims over the second runway. Now campaigners have warned that another 700 homes could have claims and have promised to support them if they decide to pursue legal action. The airport will not give details of the compensation already paid, but campaigners say it is between £5m-£9m. It is understood that not all householders received the same amount. The size of the payouts was determined by property value and closeness to the flight path.    Link to article 

 

“End Domestic Flights” demos at London City and Manchester Airports

4th September 2010

On 4th September, campaigners from Manchester and London held a joint demonstration
calling for an end to domestic flights. There are currently around 38 flights
per day between Manchester and the London hubs. The day began with a rally in
the morning at London City Airport, with speakers including Murad Qureshi and
Darren Johnson from the Greater London Authority. They then went by train to Manchester
for a similar protest. (Fight the Flights and SEMA)           Click here to view full story…

 

 Stansted and Manchester airports now officially ‘A380 READY’

19th August 2010

The CAA has said Manchester is “A380 ready”. The first A380 at the airport is
due to be an Emirates plane, in 2 weeks. Only 17 airports globally (4 in England)
are certified for the A380, as it is so large. Manchester has spent more than
£10 million upgrading to the standards needed for the Emirates super-jumbo, including
reconstructing a new aircraft stand with state of the art equipment including
an advance docking system. Stansted now also approved.   Click here to view full story…

Manchester airport “goes green” (as long as you don’t include the flights)

26th July 2010

The airport has published its first sustainability report – it intends to become
‘carbon neutral’ by 2015 by low energy light bulbs and recycling bins. Its plans
to become one of the “greenest” in Europe. But the commitment does not cover emissions
from aircraft using the airport, which the airport says are the responsibility
of airlines. Manchester FoE are highly critical and say the airport produces in
a year ‘the same amount of CO2 as the whole of Uganda’.       Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Airport Group agrees deal with solicitors representing local residents

15th July 2010

Manchester Airport has agreed a compensation package with residents over the
creation of the 2nd runway. Homeowners in Mobberley and Knutsford have been saved
a lengthy court battle after the airport and the firm of solicitors acting on
its behalf came to an agreement. Over 330 householders have lodged compensation
claims. A lawsuit – to be heard by the Lands Tribunal – was due to take place
in Sept but this will now not go ahead. (Knutsford Guardian)     Click here to view full story…

Climate protest by Plane Stupid briefly closes Manchester Airport

They ran across the airfield to the Monarch Airlines plane and formed a human circle around the undercarriage of the stationary plane using arm tube lock-ons.

24th May 2010

Six protesters from Manchester Plane Stupic have cut through a perimeter fence
at Manchester Airport and chained themselves to the wheels of a plane. They are
demonstrating against the expansion of the World Freight Centre. The activists
cut a hole in the fence and flights were suspended for 20 minutes following the
security breach. Police are currently working on removing the protesters, who
started their demonstration at about 0700 BST. A further 10 environmental activists
are currently at the road entrance to the terminal. (BBC)       Click here to view full story…

 

World’s biggest plane – A380 – to operate from Manchester

31st March 2010

The world’s biggest passenger plane – the A380 – is to fly from Dubai into Manchester Airport every day from the autumn. Emirates Airline has announced that Manchester
will become the first regional airport in the world to land the A380 – a double-decker
aircraft that seats 517 passengers. Airport bosses have fought off competition
from around the world to win the service. (MEN)    Click here to view full story…

 

Campaigners urge Manchester Airport expansion rethink

29.03.10       Manchester Airport has been urged to put its expansion plans on hold
after campaigners won a High Court battle over the proposed third runway at Heathrow.
The airport has permission to demolish two cottages it already owns but rents
to families to make way for a new cargo unit, but residents say the scheme should
be halted.   The residents issued the plea out after Lord Justice Carnwath said
that the government’s 2003 aviation policy – the basis for expansion at airports
around the country – needed to be reviewed in the light of climate change.
Click here to view full story   …

Manchester Airport to begin work on runway one on April 11 for four months

Manchester Airport is set to start work on its taxiways that will see runway
two being in operation during the night.   The move will see flights transferred from runway one to the second runway while the work takes place from April 11 until August 13.   Runway two is normally only used during the day.   Residents fear that this will cause disturbance despite the airport saying some planes would be diverted around – not over – Knutsford to reach the second runway.   Click here to view full story   …

‘Don’t panic’ call – by Jeff Gazzard – over flight forecast figures

 18.3.2010     Home owners affected by Manchester Airport have been told not to panic after a report raised the possibility of aircraft numbers increasing.   In last week’s Guardian, a ‘Government forecast’ highlighted that planes could be landing every 70 seconds by 2050.  But Jeff Gazzard, of the Manchester Airport Environment Network,  and who was very
active in the campaign in the 1990s against the second runway,  has told residents
of Mobberley and Knutsford not to panic and welcomed the airport’s stance on the
subject.     (This is a different interpretation to the airport’s future possible expansion to that expressed by Manchester environmental campaigners.)     Click here to view full story …

Blow for bid to save homes from Manchester airport bulldozers

 14th March 2010
Campaigners fighting plans by the airport to bulldoze 2 homes have been dealt
a blow. They ditched a legal challenge after being told the case had a less than
50% chance of success – and consequently would not qualify for legal aid. They
wanted a judicial review of a decision by Manchester council to allow two historic
cottages on Hasty Lane, Ringway, to be demolished to make way for a cargo centre.
Campaigners are now looking at other alternatives. (MEN)       Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Airport ‘to be as busy as Heathrow’

 8th March 2010
 Manchester Airport will double the number of flights it handles and become as
busy as Heathrow is today, the government has predicted.   According to the official
forecast – in a report by the  Committee on Climate Change –  there will be 449,000
take offs and landings at Manchester by 2050 – up from 213,000 in 2005. It would
mean a flight taking off or landing on average every 70 seconds. The report predicts
Manchester will be the fastest growing of the 4 biggest UK  airports  and will overtake
Gatwick to become the second busiest. By 2050, it is predicted to handle as many
flights as Heathrow does now.         Click here to view full story…

 

Families ready for take off in runway battle

 18th February 2010
 (Manchester Evening News)    A multi-million pound lawsuit over claims that noise and fumes from planes have slashed the value of homes near Manchester Airport is to be heard in court.    More than 200 householders have lodged compensation claims over the airport’s second runway, which opened in 2002.

If all the claims are successful, the total bill could be up to £9m.   The M.E.N. can reveal that around 15 of these cases are heading for court after airport bosses failed to come to an agreement with residents.

The Lands Tribunal – an independent and specialist judicial body set up to resolve
disputes concerning land – has been asked to intervene and will sit at Manchester’s
Civil Justice Centre.

The hearing is expected to take place over several days in September.   It is understood that more of the remaining cases could follow suit, depending on the outcome of the tribunal, but the airport insists it still hopes to reach a settlement with the homeowners.

The airport’s chief executive Geoff Muirhead was in a meeting to try and resolve
the issue last week. The talks were described as ‘positive’ and further discussions
are expected over the coming months.

A spokesman for the airport said: “We are frustrated that our efforts to resolve
this have not been successful.”

But campaigner Jeff Gazzard questioned the airport’s handling of the compensation
issue. He said: “We believe that the airport do not want to pay a penny of compensation because they don’t believe that airport noise affects house prices. A Lands Tribunal is when you have exhausted all other options – it is the last-ditch legal avenue – so we await their decision.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1192838_families_ready_for_take_off_in_runway_battle

 

Manchester Airport protesters join forces

 8th February 2010
 Campaigners against the expansion of Manchester Airport have joined forces with
Sipson, due for destruction if Heathrow gets a 3rd runway. A number of 200-year-old
cottages would be demolished if the airport builds a new cargo unit. Residents
held a tea party with Sipson village via video link on Sunday, and one is hoping
to take the airport’s proposals to a judicial review in a bid to stop the expansion.
Manchester City passed the proposals in December. (BBC)       Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airport – Hasty Lane ‘Adopt a Resident’ Launch

4th February 2010
The Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport group (SEMA) is holding an “Adopt a
Resident” launch, on   7th February, like the scheme that already exists at Sipson
(Heathrow), so that campaigners and residents can team up, in order to protect
homes. The airport is planning to bulldoze homes on Hasty Lane, to expand the
aiport’s World Freight Centre – totally in contradiction to UK climate targets.
(SEMA)     Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester air traffic control to close

  20th December 2009
MANCHESTER Airport’s air traffic control centre is to close – with 180 staff
forced to move to Scotland. The centre will close for the final time in the early
hours of January 23, with only skeleton staff remaining in the control tower.
This means all air operations – apart from take-offs and landings – will be controlled
from a new £170m centre in Prestwick, Ayrshire – more than 250 miles away.     Click here to view full story…

 

After 2 days in the job, new bmibaby boss makes a quarter of staff redundant

5th November 2009
A quarter of the staff at bmibaby have been told they are to lose their jobs,
only 2 days after Lufthansa, its parent, put a new boss in charge of the loss-making
airline. The company said that 158 of its 633 employees would go after a 90-day
consultation period. The job losses will include 54 pilots and 82 cabin crew based
at Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff. There will also be 22 management redundancies.
(Times)  Click here to view full story..

Manchester – Expansion of airport World Freight Terminal approved

  25th November 2009
 Plans to create a new cargo hangar at Manchester Airport World Freight Terminal
have been approved by Manchester City Council’s planning committee. Two cottages
will be demolished to make way for a new 200,000 sq ft depot which the airport
says would help growth in the upturn. A 300-year-old pond with a colony of great-crested
newts will also be destroyed. The earlier plans had been for two hangars. Traffic
and pollution will be increased. (Crains)         Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Air freight expansion rejected by Wythenshawe Councillors

23rd October 2009
On 22nd the Wythenshawe Area Committee rejected plans by Manchester Airport for
a freight depot, doubling the airport’s freight capacity. Over the past 2 years,
the amount of air cargo handled by the airport has halved. The plans – which would
require the demolition of Rose Cottage and habitat damage – will now go to the
main Manchester Planning committee which will have the final say in November.    Click here to view full story…

Mandelson’s comments hint at sale of Manchester Airport

 13th October 2009
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has said that local authority owned airports,
such as Manchester, could be sold off as part of government plans to cut the budget
deficit. He said the scope of the sales would cover not just central government
but also local government assets. (Crains)       Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Airport handled 9.4% fewer passengers in September

 13th October 2009
Passenger traffic fell 9.4% in September. The airport carried 1.9m passengers
in the month compared to 2.1m in Sept 2008. Domestic traffic fell 8.79%, scheduled
international was down 5.29%, charter was down 13% and private passenger numbers
were down 88.9%. Passenger numbers for the 12 months to the end of September are
down 11.5% compared with the previous 12, while freight traffic is down 17.8%
for September and 32.8% for the year. (Crains)       Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Airport – £50m air terminal work finished

 7th July 2009
The £50m overhaul of the airport is complete. Designed to take the hassle out
of travelling through Terminal 1, the project began 4 years ago. The overhaul
is part of an £80m investment across the North West’s busiest airport’s 3 terminals
with new airside shopping and catering facilities as well as a redesigned passenger
flow. A £14m, 14-lane security area has been installed and retailers have spent
almost £15m on 52 shops. (Gazette)         Click here to view full story…

Airline scraps Manchester to London City route

 17th May 2009
Belgian-based VLM has ended services between Manchester and London City Airport.
The airline, part of Air France/ KLM group, also flies to both Antwerp and Rotterdam
from Manchester, but those services have not been affected. The route has been
heavily loss-making and, a spokesman said they are impeded by unfair competition
from a subsidised rail network and airline ticket taxes that often make up over
50% of the overall fare. (Crains)           Click here to view full story…

Ryanair aiming for 1m passengers from Manchester in 2009

 19th March 2009
 Ryanair hopes to carry 1 million passengers from Manchester for the first time
in 2009 by adding new routes and increasing frequency on others. It will need
to achieve a 57% increase on the 634,000 it carried in 2008 if the target is to
be achieved. A spokesperson refused to discuss what and how many routes would
be added. (Crains)           Click here to view full story…

 

£15m plan for Manchester ‘Airport City’

 11th March 2009
Thousands of jobs may be generated under a blueprint to transform Manchester
Airport into a ‘mini city’ with huge expansion plans for retail, leisure, conferencing
and commercial activities across the complex and in the surrounding area. A deal
had been struck to buy 30 acres from property giant Burford Group on the outskirts
of the airport adjacent to land owned by the city council to form the hub of the
Airport City scheme. (Manchester Evening News)       Click here to view full story…

 

 

Manchester – Green leader lends weight to Rose Cottage campaign

10th March 2009       Dr Caroline Lucas has become the first national party leader to support the campaign to save the historic Rose Cottage in Wythenshawe. Dr Lucas has campaigned nationally and in the European Parliament for an end to airport expansions and a fairer tax regime for the aviation industry. She said if Manchester airport increases its
air freight capacity, there will be many other adverse environmental effects,
as well as the loss of Rose Cottage. (SEMA)       Click here to view full story…

Manchester Airport jobs to go after review

  28th February 2009
Up to 90 jobs are to be axed at Manchester airport because of a drop in passenger
numbers, which is expected to continue. Its existing 305 staff would need to reapply
for 215 new posts following a review of its employment structure. The Chief executive
blamed the recession for the passenger slump. Negotiations with trade unions will
start, to avoid compulsory redundancies. 25 jobs would also be lost at East Midlands
and 3 at Bournemouth. ( BBC)   Click here to view full story…

 

Northern Climate Rush at Manchester airport

13.1.2009     Click here to view full story ….

 

Manchester – Tea party airport protest

24th November 2008

Protesters staged a tea party in the grounds of an historic cottage to show their
opposition to plans to expand Manchester Airport. Airport bosses want to build
a £20m extension to the freight terminal on land off Runger Lane, Wythenshawe.
They have applied for permission to demolish Grade II-listed Rose Cottage and
three other historic properties nearby, as well as a natural pond and dozens of
mature trees. (Manchester Evening News)         Click here to view full story…

 

Manchester Airport flights plummet

6th November 2008

Manchester Airport has seen a dramatic fall in passengers and airlines with 2,500
fewer flights – and almost 200,000 fewer passengers – last month than in October
2007. More than 500 international services have been withdrawn as airlines struggle
in the current economic climate, including around 200 long-haul flights. Bmi will
axe its long-haul flights, cutting its flights to the US – which will transfer
to Heathrow. (Manchester Evening News)   Click here to view full story…

 

BA’s last international flight from Manchester Airport tomorrow

25th October 2008

BA is to fly its last direct international flight from Manchester Airport tomorrow
after scrapping services to New York, as it was not profitable. BA will not fly
any direct international routes from any UK regional airport, with traffic instead
being directed through its Gatwick and Heathrow hubs. The 10am flight from Manchester
will mark the end of an era when BA flew regular international flights from regional
hubs, including Manchester. (Crains)    Click here to view full story…

Airport plan threatens 400-year-old cottage

2nd October 2008         PLANS to bulldoze a 400-year-old cottage and build two cargo
warehouses at Manchester airport have been  described as  `cultural barbarism’.(Manchester Evening News)    click here to view full story …..

Manchester ‘Flash mob’ protest over airport

24th September 2008

PROTEST groups descended on the Labour Party conference to oppose the expansion
of Manchester Airport. The flash mob, from the new environmental pressure group
Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport (SEMA), was designed to highlight the ‘madness’
of plans that would see the number of passengers double to 50 million a year by
2030. SEMA protester Robbie Gillett said the airport already responsible for as
much CO2 per year as Uganda. (Manchester Evening News)     Click here to view full story…

 

Freight forwarder, Woodland wants Manchester freight plan to take off

20th September 2008

Independent freight forwarder Woodland International Transport has voiced its
support for plans to significantly boost freight capacity at Manchester Airport.
MAG has submitted plans to increase by 50%the existing World Freight Terminal,
creating an additional 250,000 sq ft, and is in talks to construct a new 1.5 million
sq ft freight terminal close to the airport, which will be dedicated mainly to
airfreight. (TNN)   Click here to view full story…

 

The London-Manchester air route has suffered a dramatic fall in passengers, amid pressure from green groups and train companies for the public to swap planes for rail whenever possible. Manchester Airport confirmed that use of Manchester-London flights has fallen by 10% over the past year – from 2 million people to 1.8 million since March 2006.
16.7.2007

 

News stories about the airport can be found at the UK Airport News website and the airport’s own press releases

All articles in reverse date order