Studies say reopened airport could attract up to two million passengers a year

Senior councillors at City of Doncaster Council will be told next week that re-opening Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) remains a viable option.

The council’s Cabinet will hear updates on work to revive the airport, its economic and growth potential as well as its investment opportunities.

Detailed assessments of the financial, business and investment calibre of what is now known as “South Yorkshire Airport City” – the programme which aims to reopen the airport – show:

  • The airport has the potential to be successfully reopened and could be profitable within five years of reopening
  • It could attract up to two million passengers a year within a decade, which is higher than the annual passenger numbers achieved prior to its closure
  • It could bring almost 5,000 direct jobs as well as creating up to 11,500 jobs in the wider economy
  • The net economic benefits of reopening the airport could be up to £1.5bn within the first three decades of operating
  • Reopening the airport offers the most favourable balance between economic cost and benefit and is the preferred option

Doncaster Mayor, Ros Jones, said: “Saving the airport is critically important for Doncaster and South Yorkshire.

“I know the amount of support there is in our city and across the region. I am looking forward to discussing progress to date with Cabinet members and hearing about next steps.

“I am hopeful that I will soon be able to share some good news about a lease agreement for the site.

“I know council staff have been working extremely hard since the announcement of the strategic review in July 2022 and indeed over the summer period to get us in as good a position as possible to have a fighting chance of saving our airport.”

The council has been working on ways to reopen the airport since its closure in November 2022. It is preparing a bid to lease the airport from its owners – Peel.

A series of meetings have taken place between the council and the landowners, to acquire a lease of DSA.

In addition, the council will be making arrangements to source an operator to run and develop the site. This process would take several months to complete and aims to be concluded by spring 2024.

The council has been preparing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to regain the site as an option of last resort if a lease is not agreed. But any CPO process would require lease negotiations to have been fully explored and exhausted first.

An extraordinary meeting has been called for September 20 where Cabinet will be asked to note the work to date and support the approvals required to progress a programme of works necessary to re-open the airport.