Manchester Airport (MAN) in the UK has unveiled a new interactive education center aimed at inspiring future generations about a career in aviation.

Called AeroZone, the center is part of the airport’s £1 billion ( $1.3 billion) transformation program and will offer curriculum-linked sessions focused on the wide range of careers available in aviation for students between the ages of four and 18. It is expected to welcome more than 5,000 students each year. 

AeroZone was unveiled on February 7, 2022 by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Manchester Airport’s managing director Karen Smart. They were joined by 15 schoolchildren from Outwood Primary School in Heald Green, who were then treated to a tour of the new facility.

AeroZone forms part of the education program at Manchester Airport, as outlined in the airport’s corporate social responsibility strategy. According to the airport, it has committed to ensuring “opportunity for all” as one of the strategy’s key objectives, with a pledge to support the education of at least 60,000 young people over the next five years.

Inside AeroZone, a careers wall showcases the wide range of jobs available in the aviation industry as well as advice about how to access them. Manchester Airport crew  will also appear as guest speakers, giving students the chance to ask questions. The design of the center, which includes a mix of classroom space and interactive zones, looks like the inside of an airplane, and includes a cabin with seats, a cockpit and a flight simulator.

“Providing clear paths for young people to get into our brilliant aviation industry is absolutely crucial as it bounces back from the pandemic and faces up to the challenges of climate change. We want the next wave of talent to think big and the Aerozone at Manchester Airport gives pupils of all ages the chance to do that,” UK Aviation minister Robert Courts said in a statement. 

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said, “I am sure that a visit to AeroZone will be an eye-opener for the young people who experience it, and I am glad to see Manchester Airport, as a major employer in this region, proactively highlighting the opportunities available here and encouraging the next generation to be ambitious.”