AeroZone, Manchester Airport’s education centre, first opened its doors in February 2022.
The facility gives children the chance to learn about the workings of an airport and the various careers available.
More than 3,500 school pupils from across the region have benefitted from the facility since its launch.
The AeroZone project was funded through Manchester Airport’s £1 billion transformation programme, which also included work to expand and modernise Terminal 2.
It was opened last year by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.
AeroZone provides a mix of teaching space and interactive zones, including a mocked-up plane cabin with real seats and a cockpit, complete with a flight simulator.
A school visit will typically include guest speakers working in various roles at the airport, giving students the chance to put questions to them.
The experience is designed to complement the curriculum and provide pupils with new skills and insights they can take back to the classroom with them.
The facility also hosts a series of targeted educational programmes.
‘Tech to Terminal’ opens pupils’ eyes to the world of technology in aviation, whilst ‘Girls in Science’ sessions allow pupils an opportunity to hear from women working in ‘STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, within the aviation industry, discussing the career pathways available to the next generation of the workforce.
A group of pupils from Newall Green Primary School in Wythenshawe visited the facility on its first birthday and were treated to a special programme of activity including treats and balloons, an airport scavenger hunt in the new Terminal 2 and guest speakers from the Manchester Airport Fire Service.
Rachel Bond, the group’s teacher, said: “Our pupils have had a fantastic time at AeroZone today. It’s a hands-on and interactive experience and it aligns really well with our history lessons this term, where we are looking at early aviators.
“The team at AeroZone were really welcoming, brilliant with the pupils, and ensured they got the best out of the experience.”
Marcella MRabety, head of education, skills and employment at Manchester Airports Group, said: “We are incredibly proud of the work we do in engaging with schools in our neighbouring communities, spreading awareness of the variety of opportunities available to pupils on their doorstep.
“We want to inspire them to think big, and to ensure that their visit to the airport leaves a lasting impression.
“AeroZone is a big part of that vision and it is fantastic that we have been able to reach more than 3,500 pupils in our first 12 months.
“As of today, we are now taking bookings for the next academic year. We were fully booked very quickly last year, so if schools are interested in seeing what AeroZone can offer them, we would encourage them to get in touch with us as soon as possible, so as not to miss out.”
For more information on AeroZone, download the AeroZone brochure here, or find out more at https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/education/.