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Preparing for take-off - Manchester Airport's £1bn vision for the future

Manchester Airport has announced a £1bn plan to transform the site over the next 10 years.

Hundreds of jobs will be created and it's expected passenger numbers will rise by almost ten million by 2025.

Those backing the plan say it'll be an important part of the vision for the so-called Northern Powerhouse.

But environmental groups say the money would be better spent on greener forms of transport.

Our correspondent Ashley Derricott looks at what it'll mean for passengers and job-seekers:

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Manchester Airport announce £1bn investment plan

Manchester Airport expansion Credit: MAG

Bosses at Manchester airport have revealed a £1bn pound development plan. Over the next decade Terminal 2 will be expanded and there will be improved links between other terminals as well as faster security checks and more shops.

The 'Manchester Airport Transformation Programme' is a series of 60 enhancements that will provide the millions of passengers that use the airport every year with new facilities.

The key elements of the Transformation Programme include:

  • Expansion and reconfiguring of Terminal 2
  • Improvement of Terminal 3
  • US pre-clearance facility, allowing passengers to clear immigration, customs, and agricultural inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before boarding their flight
  • A new, enlarged security hall that will screen more passengers, quicker
  • Self-service check-in facilities and around 50 food and beverage and retail outlets

"Manchester Airport plays a vital economic role in the region in which it serves. Its annual passenger numbers last year topped a record 22 million and it provides jobs for 20,000 people on site and a further 25,000 indirectly.

"Greater Manchester and the rest of the North West is increasingly competing on an international stage and an airport that is better suited to serving these global aspirations will significantly improve the impact the region can have in attracting inward and outward investment, helping it to realise its full economic potential and create further jobs and opportunities."

– Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council

Manchester Airport resumes runway operations after drone sighting caused concern

The runway at Manchester Airport. Credit: Press Association.

Flights at Manchester Airport were disrupted earlier due to a "potential drone sighting" in the area.

Some flights were delayed at Manchester Airport and some were diverted to other airports while a police helicopter investigated the report of the sighting.

But nothing was found.

"Due to a report of a potential drone sighting in airspace near to the airport, some flights have experienced short delays and a small number of flights have diverted to alternative airports while Greater Manchester Police carried out an investigation using their police helicopter.

"Upon inspection, nothing was found. As the safety and security of all of our passengers is paramount, operations on runway one were suspended for 20 minutes. Runway two, which was unaffected, will remain open for an hour so normal traffic flows can resume."

– A Manchester Airport spokeswoman

Jailed drug smuggler swallowed 1.5 kilos of cocaine

Credit: MEN Syndication

A drug smuggler who risked his life by swallowing more than 70 bags of cocaine before boarding a flight to Manchester has been jailed for five years.

Wade Williams, 53, was stopped by Border Force officers on Valentine’s Day after his flight from Barbados landed at Manchester Airport.

The incident adds to another high profile case, with another smuggler caught at Manchester Airport last month.

It’s understood Williams, of Georgetown, Guyana in South America, began to ‘produce’ the packages after high-tech border checks and during questioning and he was promptly taken for an X-ray.

The scan confirmed he had swallowed 1.5 kilos of high-purity cocaine in 72 small packages - each the size of a ‘large gherkin’.

The drugs’ likely street value once cut would have been £200,000. The bags were so potent that had just one of them split it could have been fatal.

This demonstrates the desperation shown by smugglers to get illegal drugs into the UK. His actions were foolish to say the least - had just one of the 72 packages swallowed by Williams broken or split it is likely the consequences would have been fatal.

It also shows that it doesn’t matter how well traffickers hide the drugs, we can still find them and stop them.

– Rob Miles, head of the National Crime Agency’s Manchester border investigation team

Inaugural flight cancelled after firefighters spray plane with FOAM

Plane covered in foam Credit: MEN Syndication

An inaugural Virgin flight from Manchester to Atlanta was delayed for a day – after fire crews sprayed it with FOAM instead of water during a salute.

The first flight had been due to take off at 10.35am yesterday, with the bigger Airbus A330-300 taking over from Delta’s Boeing 757-200 aircraft, boosting passenger numbers from 164 to 266.

It’s understood the salute often carried out by airport fire engines to celebrate a new flight went awry after fire suppressing foam shot out from one of the vehicles. The blunder put the aircraft temporarily out of action by clogging up the vital and sensitive jet engines and hi-tech turbine blades delaying the flight by a day.

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M56 to close for bridge work - football fans warned of diversions

Old bridge being demolished Credit: Highways agency

The M56 will be closed this weekend at Manchester Airport. The motorway will shut in both directions between junctions 5 and 6 for work to install a £5.5m new bridge after the old one was demolished. It will close at 10pm tonight.

The simple message is that the M56 is closed this weekend at Manchester Airport and unless you need to catch or meet a flight then please, please stay clear for everyone's sake.

"Local roads around the airport will be very busy so we appeal to anyone who does not need to travel to the airport or communities in the area to avoid the M56." More

– Highways Agency project manager Mark Mosley

Mark Mosley Project Manager for the Higways Agency says Manchester United supporters are being urged to follow the official diversions for tomorrow's match at Old Trafford, and on Sunday, City fans are being warned to use alternative motorways for their game at Anfield.

Flybe flight from Manchester to Paris declares emergency and lands in paris

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