A Trafford business manager has received an MBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to the ethnic community.

Talat Mahmud, 49, of Kings Road, is the business development manager at Manchester Airport. Since starting work at the airport 22 years ago, he has helped to adapt it to the needs of ethnic communities.

He said: "As the airport has grown over the years, more and more ethnic communities have started using it. We have had to take into account their needs and requirements, to encourage them to keep using the airport and not fly from London instead."

One of Mr Mahmud's main achievements has been to introduce the Hajj pilgrimage flight to Saudi Arabia, making it more accessible for the two million Muslims in the North West.

He has made halal food available at the airport, and introduced facilities for abulution, a cleansing process carried out by Muslims before prayer.

He has also written a book for airport employees, to educate them about the Hajj and other Muslim traditions. Outside the airport, he has worked to help Asian businesses in the community.

He said: "It was absolutely marvellous when I heard about the honour. My family is delighted for me,and I cannot thank them enough for their support."

He pledged to continue working with ethnic communities to ensure that the airport meets their needs.

He added: "I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all the communities living in our region with different religious and ethnic backgrounds, and to all those at Manchester Airport who have supported and co-operated with me over the years."

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