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MANCESTER SET TO LIFT OFF AS COUNTRY'S SECOND AIRPORT

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Manchester City Council expects its council-owned airport to overtake Gatwick as Britain's second airport by the tu...
Manchester City Council expects its council-owned airport to overtake Gatwick as Britain's second airport by the turn of the century and plans to accelerate its expansions schedule, The Guardian reports (p9).

The predictions come after transport minister John Reid ended years of uncertainty by announcing (see LGCnet 11/11/98) that Manchester Airport, along with Newcastle, Leeds-Bradford and Norwich airports, will be allowed to borrow money on the open market for the first time next April, the paper reports.

They will be able to invest in improved transport links, such as an eight-mile extension of Manchester's supertram sustem to the airport, hotels and shopping centres.

City councillor and chairman of the airport board, Brian Harrison, said private funds would have an impact. Plans for the expansion of a second terminal could be brought forward while a strategic investment in Greater Manchester's supertram system was a 'real possibility'.

'When the second runway is completed (by 2000) we will have something no other airport has - extra capacity,' he said.

'This means we will be on track to overtake Gatwick as Britain's second airport by the turn of the century'.

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