Manchester Airport is an international airport in Ringway, Greater Manchester, England, 7.5 NM south-west of Manchester city centre. In 2016, it was the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger numbers and the busiest outside London. The airport comprises three passenger terminals and a goods terminal, and is the only airport in the UK other than Heathrow Airport to operate two runways over 3280 yd in length. Manchester Airport covers an area of 560 ha and has flights to 199 destinations, placing the airport thirteenth globally for total destinations served.
Officially opened on 25 June 1938, it was initially known as Ringway Airport. In the Second World War, as RAF Ringway, it was a base for the Royal Air Force. The airport is owned and managed by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), a holding company owned by the Australian finance house IFM Investors and the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, with Manchester City Council owning the largest stake. Ringway, after which the airport was named, is a village with a few buildings and church at the southern edge of the airport.
Future developments include the £800 million Manchester Airport City logistics, manufacturing, office and hotel space next to the airport. Ongoing and future transport improvements include the £290 million Eastern Link relief road, due to open in summer 2019. A High Speed 2 station known as Manchester Interchange, is earmarked for opening in 2033, and will directly connect the airport to Central London in under an hour and create a regular sub-10 minute shuttle service for connecting rail passengers from central Manchester to the Airport - relieving stress on the Styal Line to the Airport from Manchester which has become one of the most congested routes on the National Rail network.
After the airport handled a record 27.8 million passengers in 2017, the Airport is currently undergoing a major expansion programme to double the size of Terminal 2, with the first phase due to open in spring 2019. The £1 billion expansion will be completed in 2024 and enable the Terminal 2 to handle 35 million passengers. Capacity exists for up to 50 million passengers annually with two runways, however this potential figure is limited by the airport's restriction to 61 aircraft movements per hour as well as existing terminal sizes to effectively process arrivals and departures.
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