LONDON – The Doncaster council has provided an update on progress to resolve the situation with the impending closure of regional Doncaster Sheffield airport.
This week’s combined statement from Doncaster Council Mayor Ros Jones and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Mayor Oliver Coppard reads as follows:
Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) owners, The Peel Group has confirmed in a meeting with senior officers from both Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and Doncaster Chamber of Commerce – that they will look at all options to keep the airport open.
They would be willing to consider a range of options that could result in the maintenance of aviation operations on the site.
There is a mutual recognition that the airport and wider Gateway East site are inextricably linked, and all viable options are still on the table for discussion, including the sale to another owner/operator.
Each of the options will now be further investigated within the extremely tight consultation period Peel has set for its strategic review, with an acknowledgement that this may need to be extended.
The urgency of this work cannot be underestimated and will be conducted at pace and commitment by Doncaster Council and the SYMCA. We have mobilised a number of groups including a business advisory board and our region’s MPs.
We are now working closely with the Department for Transport and have jointly commissioned an economic impact assessment alongside our private sector partners to inform the best possible outcome for Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Doncaster and South Yorkshire.
The region is also working with Government as we look for support with this nationally significant airport.
Our work continues and we will provide updates when they are available.
Thank you to everyone who came along to the recent public meeting to ask questions and share ideas, and to those who have supported our efforts to see DSA continue as an aviation operation in Doncaster.
We want to see the airport remain open.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport – August 4 public meeting
A public meeting held on 4 August to discuss the matter was attended by over 300 locals, with an interest in keeping their regional airport open. South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver thanked attendees via his social media account, saying: “Thank you to everyone who turned up to show their support for saving Doncaster Sheffield Airport tonight.”
“I’m grateful for all the comments, questions and ideas. I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it, but together we’re going to do everything we can.”
Prior to the meeting, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Louise Haigh, posted a copy of her recent letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Grant Schapps, demanding answers after 3 weeks with no response.
The recent council action follows in the wake of the announcement by the Aviation Minister, Robert Courts, which seemingly signalled the government washing its hands of the airport closure matter, and placing the onus on local council to investigate solutions.
Since last month’s decision by airport management company to close the Doncaster Sheffield Airport after finding it ‘commercially unviable’, local reaction has remained strong. An on-line petition organised by local interest group Yorkshire Plane Spotters now has over 87,000 signatures.
Up to 800 local jobs may be in jeopardy if closure plans go ahead.