Manchester Airport, the U.K.'s third busiest airport, today unveiled its new £20m ($30m) control tower. The official opening ceremony coincided with the 75th anniversary of the airfield opening on 25th June 1938. Manchester's new tower stands over 60m (200ft) tall, and is the second tallest in the U.K., allowing unrestricted views of both runways. Approximately 10 controllers are expected to be on duty at any one time, split between tower controllers at the top, and approach controllers in a new facility at the base of the tower.
The U.K.'s air traffic service provider NATS will manage the equipment and the 24-hour operation, whilst Manchester Airport will own and maintain the building.
Manchester Airport is the North of England's principal gateway, handles around 20 million passengers per year, and 170,000 aircraft movements.
I had a rare opportunity to take some photos from up in the 'crow's nest' today, in the Air Traffic Control room.
A look over Terminal 2:
A view over Terminal 1, with the old tower in the center:
A view of the old tower from inside the new tower:
A Thomson Airways 767 departs off Runway2 (23 Left):
A Thomas Cook A330 landing:
Two images of an Emirates A380 landing and taxiiing:
A Germanwings A319 taxiiing out:
Air Transat's colourful A330 tail:
and finally a straight-down look at a Thomson Airways 737-800 in the Dreamliner colours:
All photos: Nigel Howarth