which was erected to its full height, the two
adjoining areas on either side were then
completed using a similar method.
William Hare had up to 10 steel erection
teams on site, each with their own dedicated
crane. Having so many cranes on one site
was logistically challenging, especially as
they could not overslew the adjacent airfield
or the operating Terminal 2 building.
The middle sway frame section of the
extension accommodates three modular
mega-risers, each measuring 8m × 11m and
containing much of the building’s services.
Each riser consists of eight fullyassembled
modules, each weighing 8t. Once
the central area’s steelwork was completed,
and before the side sway frames were
erected, the modules were lifted into place
through gaps left in the frame.
“We had to lift the modules into place in
this way as a much larger crane would have
been needed to lift the modules over and
into the completed steel frame,” says William
Hare Project Manager Richard Branford.
“A lot of detailing had to be done on
the steel modules and the bracketry they
fit to inside the voids as there was only
millimetres of clearance during the lifting
The overall layout of the structurallyindependent
extension mirrors the adjacent
steel-framed terminal building. Once
construction is complete, the two will be
connected, as various breakout zones will
be formed in the existing partition to allow
a seamless transition between the two
The ground and first floor of the
extension accommodate arrivals, second
floor is departures, third is the international
departure lounge with retail units, the fourth
mezzanine level has restaurants and VIP
lounges, and the uppermost level is a plant
While the lowest three floors occupy the
extension’s entire footprint, the upper floors
are set-back and overlook the departures
Consequently, much of the departures
zone is a triple-height 36m-wide columnfree
area. This is created by a series of
2.5m-deep trusses positioned at roof level.
These large steel elements were brought
to site in three pieces, assembled on the
ground before being lifted into place as one
The majority of the terminal extension
steelwork was completed towards the end of
2018, but further steel construction is taking
place at the front of the new building. The
existing forecourt, which has an entrance
on level 2, is being extended to include the
extension and a new canopy, supported on
CHS columns, is being erected.
The Terminal 2 extension is scheduled to
open in April 2020.
Transforming an airport
As well as the Terminal 2 extension, structural
steelwork has also played a leading role in
a number of other parts of the Manchester
Airport Transformation Programme.
Of the project’s three planned piers, the first one
(pictured above) and its connecting 250m-long link
was handed over in January.
William Hare erected 1,650t of steel for the pier
and link, completing the work just as the main
terminal steel programme was kicking off.
The pier has 11 gates and measures 216m in
length. It was erected around a standard 9m grid
pattern and its roof is a portal frame creating a 20m
The link connects the pier directly into the new
terminal extension. However, as the pier will open
earlier than the extension, a two-level (arrivals
and departures) temporary link has been installed
within the construction site to allow passengers
to transit through the construction site from the
existing terminal building.
A steel-framed baggage sortation facility is
being constructed adjacent to the existing terminal.
Measuring 220m-long × 14m-high, this 33m-wide
single span portal frame required approximately
500t of steelwork.
Connecting the terminal extension to the
new multi-storey car park, is a recently installed
45m-long steel bridge. Weighing close to 100t,
the structure was fully assembled offsite in order
to minimise disruption. It was then transported
to its final position using self-propelled modular
transporters (SPMTs) and then lifted into place by
one 750t-capacity mobile crane.
William Hare also
worked on the original
All of the terminal's
floors are compositely
One feature lattice
column is located on
the main façade