Aviation minister Paul Maynard, visited airport bosses and key figures to view plans for a £10 million terminal expansion and ambitions for a railway station and new line linking the East Coast Mainline and the Doncaster/Lincoln line.
Airport bosses say the railway station and 4.5 mile track scheme is ‘shovel ready,’ would cost over £200 million, take just five years to deliver and has no impact to existing homes and businesses.
The rail plan would also ‘significantly extend’ the airport’s public transport catchment area to circa nine million people within a 90-minute travel time, equivalent to the catchment of Manchester Airport while ‘utilising existing runway capacity capable of handling 25 million passengers’.
The terminal expansion, which recently secured a £5 million loan from Sheffield City Region, includes new retail food and beverage offering, new gate bridges and an expansion of the arrivals hall and security area.
Mr Maynard said he was making ‘no promises’ but, said: “A number of people that travel from this region over the Pennines to Manchester Airport is substantial and if we can help airports like Doncaster Sheffield to create good networks and meet local economic needs then it can only be a good thing.
“From what I’ve seen today looks a very appealing project but there’s many layers of bureaucracy to get through - we need to make sure we’re purchasing the right project at the right price understanding how it will interrupt the rest of our railway network.
He added: “The Prime Minsiter was elected on a basis to level up the regions that means making areas like South Yorkshire and the north as a whole fulfill it’s economic potential. We need to invest in our local areas and in its infrastructure and airports are a key part of that.”
Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher, added: “We’ve spoken about the East Coast Mainline link and it would be a fantastic investment for Doncaster and it puts the airport within half an hour of so many more people.”