Manchester Airport is to invest more than GBP35 million in
a radical redevelopment of its most popular terminal following a groundbreaking
study into passenger behaviour.
The scheme has been designed following the completion of an in-depth study into passengers’ state of mind as they travel through the Airport.
Expert psychologists monitored the mental workload of travellers, scrutinised their body language and monitored their comments and conversations to help build up a picture of the emotions passengers experience from arriving at the Airport to stepping on board the plane.
The results have been used by Manchester Airport to redesign the new Terminal 1 in partnership with Milligan, a leading retail property developer.
One of the main findings of the study was that passengers find the security screening process extremely stressful and are keen to get it “over and done with” as soon as possible. The development scheme will expand and relocate the security area to directly behind the main check-in hall to encourage passengers to move straight through to the new, zoned airside retail, drinking and dining experience. Landside facilities – that’s the shops and services passengers visit before they are security screened - will be scaled down.
The decision to focus the new retail offering on the airside or after-security part of the Airport follows research findings that passengers are not able to fully relax until after their have cleared security. That trend has been accelerated by recent changes to security restrictions particularly those relating to liquids, and Manchester Airport is the first Airport in the UK to respond to changes in passenger buying patterns with such a comprehensive redevelopment.
The new look terminal will be divided into four distinct quarters to match the needs of passengers. The first zone after passengers have been through security will focus on essential travel purchases such as newspapers, toiletries and medicines following study findings that show that travellers want to make these “must-have” purchases first.
Passengers will then enter a new 25,000 sq ft tax and duty free store outlet, one of the largest in the UK where they will be able to buy liquor and tobacco, fragrance and cosmetics and other goods – again to match their expectations and purchasing mood. They will then move through into a specially designed shopping zone with quality high street brands before arriving at a large dining and drinking area in the final phase of their Airport experience.
The first phase of the project will see the creation of a large pub and mezzanine bar and dining area costing £5 million. The pub is due to be completed and open to the public by June of 2008.
Manchester Airport, has been quick to respond to the changing shopping trends. Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport’s Commercial Director, said of the development: “We’re very in touch with our passengers’ needs and we’re very excited about the start of work of this new, specially designed airport experience.
“Passengers are increasingly looking for a highly-professional and strategically designed retail, drinking and dining experience when they come through the airport and this latest investment will deliver against increased expectations.
“We’ve carefully designed the zones after the security area to match the specific needs and moods of our passengers and this attention to detail, combined with one of the largest tax and duty free stores in the UK, will ensure that the new Terminal 1 retail offering continues to attract passengers to Manchester Airport.”
Chief Executive of Milligan Retail Resort International, John Milligan, said: “The new Terminal 1 will provide a fantastic retail environment with a range of unit sizes which will offer excellent opportunities for quality brands to showcase their products in a exciting and dynamic environment.”