Park and Go: Manchester Airport Parking - Airport History

Please find below a brief history of Manchester Airport which we hope that you will find useful. If you wish to make a booking then please use the form on the right of this page. Alternatively you can call our office, where one of our helpful staff will only be happy to help.

Manchester is Britain's third largest airport In 1928 a sub-committee was selected to choose an appropriate location for Manchester Airport, they chose a place called Barton, five miles west of the city. Work began and on 1st January 1930 the airport was opened. However, Barton had not been such a good selection. After heavy rain the airport became severely waterlogged, services were disrupted and eventually a new location had to be found.

  • Number of terminals: 3
  • Number of passengers: Over 18 million
  • Number of runways: 2

In 1934 Manchester Corporation turned their thoughts to the south west, a place called Ringway where the aircraft manufacturer Fairey Aviation had set up a factory. The small airfield was transformed into a commercial airport in the space of four years.

During world war two the airfield was used by troops of the Britain’s Airborne Forces as a training centre for glider pilots and parachutists. With peacetime came new opportunities for civil expansion and in 1949 part of the old Parachute School was converted to handle an increasing number of passengers and two years later the runway was lengthened.

It was the 1960's that was to provide the most dramatic changes to Manchester Airport. An imposing terminal building with air traffic control facilities and two passenger piers were added. That development heralded two decades of burgeoning traffic and growing facilities that included a third pier, new departure hall and a longer runway.

In 1980 one of Manchester's ambitions were realised when the airport was designated an International Gateway, handling direct long-haul international flights. In response to its new international reputation the airport investment programme was directed not only towards passenger traffic but also towards major cargo handling.

A second international passenger terminal and direct rail and motorway links have made the airport increasingly accessible to a wide catchment area. Approval to build a second runway against much local opposition enhanced the airport's potential.