Aircraft fans ignore lockdown to watch PPE flights and stranded Virgin jets at Doncaster Sheffield Airport
Aviation fans have been told to stay away from Doncaster Sheffield Airport after hundreds of plane spotters turned up to catch a glimpse of critical PPE flights and stranded Virgin Atlantic jets.
The airport at Finningley is being used to ship in supplies of personal protection equipment for NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis and is also being used to to store a number of planes grounded by the lockdown.
Over the past few days, a number of planes from China and Russia have been landing with emergency medical equipment while Virgin Atlantic, Wizz Air and TUI jets have been ‘parked’ at the airport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But plane buffs have been told to stay away after reports of dozens of aviation enthusiasts turing up to catch a glimpse of aircraft coming in to land.
A post on the Doncaster Sheffield Airport Forums Facebook page, where plane fans share pictures and details of aircraft at the airport, said: “Absolutely heart breaking to see so many cars parked up along High Common Lane this afternoon.
“People are still losing their lives in the hundreds daily, yet people still continue to flaunt the government rulings to stay at home.
“Please folks, stay at home, stay away from the airfield and only make essential trips, when absolutely vital and necessary until the Government issue anything different.”
“Aircraft will be here for some duration so there will be plenty of opportunities to see them when the restrictions have been lifted.”
On Thursday, a huge cargo plane containing more than five million pieces of personal protective equipment arrived at the airport.
Bosses say more than 300 tonnes of PPE are scheduled to pass through as it continues to do its bit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Freight traffic has nearly doubled during the coronavirus crisis compared to the same period last year, with 5,000 tonnes of cargo delivered on 60 flights since March 15.
As well as crucial medical supplies, the airport has been handling more than 500 tonnes of food destined for supermarket shelves each week and ensuring outbound humanitarian aid including solar fridges reaches those in need.
Some passenger flights could resume in the coming weeks.