Astra Signs completes £2.5m Manchester Airport contract

The brief, to design, manufacture and install new signage throughout the international airport and make traveler navigation easier and more efficient, saw over 3,000 products delivered, spanning the airport approach, forecourt, new eight-story Area West car park, Terminal 2 extension, and new Piers.

The activity forms part of a £1 billion transformation of the UK’s third-largest airport into a key global gateway, led by international award-winning design practice Pascall and Watson. The wayfinding project delivered by Astra Signs and awarded by Laing O’ Rourke took two years to complete and saw an extensive suite of products produced ranging from safety and directional signage to sophisticated and highly technical digital Flight Information Displays and totems.

Speaking on the job, Tony Ward, Technical Director at Pascall and Watson, said: “Large airport buildings are complex, and passengers can easily become overwhelmed and confused. The architecture and building fabric must be designed to have natural wayfinding.  Where wayfinding products are incorporated, they need to be part of a family of products and integral to the overall design concept.

“This can be a real challenge as when it is done well it is taken for granted, and no one notices because the signage integrates with the overall ambiance. This is what Astra Signs has achieved. The team approached every design challenge with boundless enthusiasm, exceeding all expectations.  We wouldn’t hesitate to work together again.”

David Derbyshire, Managing Director at Astra Signs, added: “This was a complex transformation project that required an innovative and skilled approach to overcome sizeable technical challenges and ensure all work was ASIAD compliant. The Manchester Airport design has a neutral palate, and the spaces are open and inviting, the Flight Information Display products – planar forms, clad in black metal and with bold illuminated edges, were designed to stand out like pieces of sculpture, whilst blending seamlessly with the overall environment. We couldn’t be more pleased with the result.”

Further to the successful completion of the project, the Trafford Park-based sign manufacturer has been awarded an additional contract for the new Escape Lounge at Manchester Airport. Work is already underway and scheduled for completion in April.

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