ABOVE: The airport will be a central part of a 10-year plan for South Yorkshire Airport City

The Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, has announced that the region will take a “significant step” toward re-opening Doncaster Sheffield Airport fifteen months since it was closed by owners the Peel Group.

Last summer, the Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) awarded City of Doncaster £3.1 million to prepare an Outline Business Case to take control of the airport: outlining a leasing arrangement, re-establishing operations under a new business model, and maximising the asset as an anchor for growth. The newly-published Outline Business Case states that re-opening the airport ‘provides the best opportunity to secure economic growth and well-being not just in Doncaster’ but across South Yorkshire as a whole.

The Business Case is being built on creating a sustainable airport hub, featuring a sector-specific focus on aviation-related advanced manufacturing, advanced engineering and development of decarbonisation industries. The MCA Board is being asked to approve the recommendation to work up a Full Business Case, which could be completed as soon as Spring 2024. Subject to a suitable operator being found, the airport could then be on course to re-open.

“Getting to this point has not been easy. I’ve always said reopening our airport would take time and huge amounts of hard work,” said Coppard, who added: “Alongside the other leaders in South Yorkshire, I believe the economic case is compelling”.

“I am pleased to say that lease negotiations continue to progress positively, and I am confident that we can agree a deal, but we are not over the line yet,” added Mayor Ros Jones. “City of Doncaster Council have entered the next stage of the procurement process, which is progressing as planned, with the aim of appointing an operator in the Spring,” she concluded.

IMAGE: SOUTH YORKSHIRE MAYORAL COMBINED AUTHORITY