March 25: Manchester Airport’s new environmentally-friendly ‘Concorde Visitor Centre’ – which will display the former British Airways flagship Concorde G-BOAC – was opened by British Airways Chief Executive, Willie Walsh and Manchester Airport Group’s Chief Executive, Geoff Muirhead CBE in the Aviation Viewing Park.
“Manchester Airport was one of 60 high-profile locations worldwide that originally bid to give a home to a retiring Concorde. It gives me great pleasure to see the culmination of that bid today in this magnificent new exhibition area and visitor centre”, said Walsh.
Construction of the Visitor Centre began in December 2008 to protect the historic and much-loved aircraft from the elements. “The Concorde Visitor Centre is the first new building on the airport site to comply with strict construction standards as part of Manchester Airport’s commitment to having carbon neutral operations by 2015,” said Geoff Muirhead CBE. “The new building is not only home to a unique piece of aviation history but it is also an important visual statement of our future low carbon ambitions.”
Since the launch of Manchester Airport’s environment plan in 2006, all designers are tasked to ensure that new buildings are carbon efficient, which is why the Concorde Visitor Centre includes emerging technologies such as biomass heating fuelled by willow grown on the airport site. The hangar also utilises rainwater harvesting and solar panels to capture the sun’s energy and heat the water system.
The new visitor centre includes a corporate hospitality suite, an education centre for local schools and a glass-walled visitor restaurant alongside Concorde that offers views of Manchester Airport’s runways.