THE BOSS of Manchester Airport has warned the government that agreeing to build a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport means it will have to put its money where its mouth is.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said he welcomed the government announcement confirming its support for airports and examining the best ways of utilising existing capacity while improving international connections.

Mr Cowan explained: “We welcome the statement from Government confirming its support for airports looking to make best use of existing capacity and agree that it is vital for the UK economy that the country has the best possible international connections.

“Government must now match its support for a third runway at Heathrow with specific and practical proposals to maximise the potential of airports like Manchester in the period to 2030 – the earliest the third runway is likely to be delivered – and beyond that.

“This includes support for schemes like Northern Powerhouse Rail, which will dramatically improve access to the North’s primary international gateway and help secure dozens more direct long haul services to key overseas economies.”

“Manchester Airport has demonstrated the role it can play in connecting the North to key overseas markets through the launch of services to the likes of Hong Kong, Beijing, San Francisco and Boston in recent years and the announcement of new routes to Africa and India in the past few weeks.

“Manchester is also serving as a second global gateway to the UK for investors and visitors.

Manchester Airport is currently investing more than £1bn in transforming its facilities and unlocking the spare capacity on its existing two full-length runways.

The £1bn investment represents the most significant programme of investment ever made in Manchester Airport and will see the campus developed to provide a world class operation, with significant enhancements to current facilities and major improvements to the customer experience.

Manchester is now Europe’s 19th busiest airport.