Briefing:  Manchester Airport express drop
➢ Manchester Airport has seen a significant increase in passenger volumes in the past five years and is investing heavily in further growth and improvements to the customer experience, most notably through its £1bn Transformation Programme.
➢ This growth, coupled with imposed restrictions on forecourt capacity and an inability to increase available space, has led to extreme congestion on the forecourts and surrounding estate especially at peak times. This has a huge impact on operations and service levels. In addition, we experience recirculation rates of around 20% at peak time, which means one in every five cars enters our forecourt areas at least twice, significantly adding to the congestion.
➢ As we continue to grow, it is clear that we need to take a proactive approach to managing this congestion, especially as we have one of the highest levels of “kiss and fly” traffic (passengers being dropped off/picked up by a friend or relative, or taxi) in the country. This stands at more than 50% at Manchester and was identified at our Surface Access Forum last year as the number one issue to tackle.
➢ We have modelled the capacity across our forecourts and based on the projected increase in passenger numbers, it is clear that doing nothing is not an option.
➢ Our forecourts were simply not designed to handle the current volume of vehicles that they do and we cannot accommodate any further growth in this ‘kiss and fly’ traffic or continued recirculation of traffic.
Free drop-off area
➢ We are creating a dedicated site away from the forecourt areas for people being dropped off at the airport, from where we will transport them free of charge to their terminal on dedicated shuttle services.
➢ Frequent shuttle services will take passengers from this area to the terminals, with journey times ranging from five to seven minutes, depending on the terminal you are travelling to. These services will be operated to a 24hour daily schedule with marshals on hand to assist.
➢ The location of the free area (within JetParks1) has been selected as it is close to the
motorway network and ensures that cars will not be passing through surrounding
neighbourhoods on route to the site.
➢ Previously paid-for spaces have been converted into free drop-off spaces in this
area, with a new surface, bus shelters and an assistance call point.
➢ Maps, directions with videos and further information will be available on our website
from early June.
What is express drop-off?
➢ In parallel, we are launching an express drop-off charge for those still wanting to be
dropped directly outside the terminals and ground transport station. It will launch in
June and we will confirm the exact date in advance.
➢ This is similar to most UK airports and, as such, we have been able to benchmark
our pricing structure against them. We believe this to be fair to consumers, while
working to tackle the congestion issues.
➢ 84% of passengers currently take fewer than five minutes on the forecourts and so
offering a free short stay on the forecourts will not help to alleviate the congestion.
➢ The charges for the forecourt areas are £3 for five minutes and £4 for 10 minutes.
There will be no permitted stays longer than 10 minutes.
➢ The system will include ANPR in and a barrier system out with payment taken at the
barrier by card (contactless and chip&pin) or cash (sterling).
What about pick-up?
The changes that we are introducing only impact those dropping-off. The process for
picking-up passengers remains the same – passengers can be picked-up in the arrivals car
parks and multi-storey car parks with a charge of £4 for 30 minutes.
We will have colleagues on hand to direct those dropping-off and picking-up to the right
Developing public transport
➢ We will be investing a six-figure sum in to a brand new Public Transport Development
Fund, which will be used to support measures to improve access to our site for
employment as well as for passengers.
➢ We will be working in partnership with Cheshire East Council, the GMCA, TfGM and
others to administer the fund and ensure that we improve public transport to the
benefit of local residents.
Passengers with reduced mobility
➢ We chose to make the announcement earlier this year that we will be introducing
express drop-off at Manchester Airport without final details for certain passenger
groups to allow us time to take feedback from passengers and disability groups. As
a result, we are now able to confirm that:
➢ Blue badge holders will be able to access the forecourt areas free of charge for dropoff,
on production of a blue badge to the traffic marshals or on exit at the barrier.
➢ There will also be a help point in the free drop-off location within JetParks1 for
anybody wishing to use the free drop-off and in need of assistance, or for those who
have booked assistance but don’t have a blue badge and would like to drop-off free
of charge. They will then be collected on arrival at the forecourt by our assistance
➢ The process for pick-up will remain the same within the multi-storey car parks with
designated bays.
The station
➢ We recognise, in response to feedback and engagement with communities and
stakeholders, that our station serves as the main commuter station for people living
in the surrounding neighbourhood.
➢ Therefore, users within a defined postal area have the opportunity to apply for a
permit, giving them access to the station for an annual fee of £30.
➢ Terms and conditions apply. Further information on this and how to apply for a
permit can be found here -
➢ Residents will need to fill in an application form and apply in person via the Car
Parks Administration Office which is located at Staff East, M22 5YA and is now open
between the hours of 07.00-18.00, Monday to Friday.
Private hire taxi firms
➢ There is a discount scheme for commercial operators who are frequent users of
Manchester Airport, which apply to both the forecourts and the car parks.
➢ This scheme already exists for pick-up within our multi-storey car parks and will now
exist for discounted access to our forecourts for drop-off.
➢ Terms and conditions apply. Further information on this and how to apply for a
permit can be found here -
➢ Residents will need to fill in an application form and apply in person via the Car
Parks Administration Office which is located at Staff East, M22 5YA and is now open
between the hours of 07.00-18.00, Monday to Friday.
For any questions about the permits and application forms, please contact the
administration office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..