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31 Jan 2020

Doncaster Sheffield Airport Reveals £10M Development Plans and meets with Government to discuss unlocking 33,000 jobs in the North

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) welcomed the UK Aviation Minister, Paul Maynard, MP today (Thursday 30th January) as it revealed a £10M redevelopment plan for the for terminal as part of its continued commitment to provide an easy, friendly and relaxed service to its customers.

The £10m terminal investment programme for Yorkshire’s award-winning airport includes a number of improvements and new facilities based on passenger feedback, such as an expansion of the retail food and beverage offering, new gate bridges and an expansion of the arrivals hall and security search area.

Already voted the UK’s favourite airport, the improvements are in direct response to growing passenger demand, following exponential growth over the past five years which has seen DSA become the fastest growing airport in the North of the UK.  Many of the proposed improvements should be completed for Summer 2021.

As part of the Government’s Regional Connectivity Review the Aviation Minister was keen to understand how Doncaster Sheffield Airport can support  Government strategy to level up the North.

Airport management discussed plans which have the potential unlock 33,000 gross jobs over the next 10 years - 10,000 of them within the next 5 years, in engineering, manufacturing aviation, energy and construction.   He heard how this ‘shovel-ready’ scheme, to bring an East Coast Mainline station into the site would significantly extend the airport’s public transport catchment area to circa 9 million people within a 90-minute travel time, equivalent to the catchment of Manchester Airport and utilising existing runway capacity capable of handling 25 million passengers. The scheme offers exceptional value for money with a 22:1 return on investment.

The creation of an East Coast Mainline Station, with just 4.5 miles of track would provide direct public transport access to and from towns and cities across the entire East of the country and relieve congestion on the East Coast Mainline.  If successful, Doncaster Sheffield Airport would be only the second airport in the UK to have direct mainline rail access, with a scheme deliverable within the next five years.  The Airport plays an important role in reducing car journeys from passengers forced to travel to the south due to an under-provision of airline seats in Yorkshire.  It also has the potential to save up to 80 million road miles and c23,000 tonnes of CO2 which currently result from surface leakage.   

Robert Hough CBE, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: 

“Doncaster Sheffield Airport already boasts a modern purpose-built terminal building facility involving over £100 million of investment just fifteen years ago.  It is so important that as we grow, we continue to maintain our award-winning passenger experience.  Today’s announcement follows £3.5 million invested to create additional parking spaces to keep up with customer demand and £2m investment in our on-site solar farm that will generate 25% of the airport’s energy.

“We are pleased that the Aviation Minister recognises our position as a key part of the solution for the UK’s aviation needs and addressing the imbalance of just 1.2 seats per head of population in Yorkshire versus 10 in the South.  We are committed to our part in delivering the opportunity here around DSA which with the right support from government can start making an impact on people lives in the North now, not years ahead.”

Paul Maynard, Aviation Minister, said:  “Doncaster Sheffield is an award winning airport and these enhancements will make the passenger experience even better, as it provides a vital service connecting communities and business across the UK.   

“We are absolutely committed to enhancing regional airports and air services and our regional air connectivity review will help deliver on the Prime Minister’s pledge to level up the whole of the UK economy.”

Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley, was on hand to greet the aviation minister, and highlight the potential of the scheme to support further growth and drive the creation of skilled jobs and opportunities.  He said: “The airport and surrounding area have the capacity to bring much-needed jobs and skills to the region.  Over 1,000 jobs and 100 businesses are already supported across the site and the potential is far greater.

“It is important that we unlock this vital asset for the region and that we encourage and develop our local children and young people to become the skilled talent pool for the growth sectors of the future”.

The development is a key part of the Airport’s 20-year Masterplan which saw passenger numbers soar to 1.45m this year and forecast to double within the next 5 years, consistent with its market breaking growth over the past five years in excess of 75%. 

With a busy summer ahead, Doncaster Sheffield Airport is now just a few weeks away from TUI’s fourth based aircraft arriving, new long-haul destinations to Cancun, Mexico and Cape Verde taking off and an additional quarter of a million seats on sale; its predicting a busy summer ahead.