Doncaster Sheffield Airport bosses were ‘in discussions over £20 million loan’ before potential closure annoucement says South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard

The company that runs Doncaster Sheffield Airport was ‘in discussion’ with political leaders for a £20 million loan before announcing they could close the site to commercial flights and passengers.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 5:01 pm

South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard made the claim following an announcement from Peel Group that they were considering shutting the airport due to a lack of financial viability.

Airport bosses said despite growth in passenger numbers, DSA has ‘never achieved the critical mass required to become profitable’.

They added the fundamental issue of a shortfall in passenger numbers was ‘exacerbated by the announcement of the unilateral withdrawal of the Wizz Air based aircraft’, leaving the airport with only one base carrier, namely TUI.

South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard

The announcement has sparked widespread condemnation from politicians across the aisle, business leaders across the region and residents across the county.

Mayor Coppard said he was now seeking an ‘urgent meeting’ with Peel Group bosses and would be speaking to ministers in order to save it from closure.

He said: “South Yorkshire is establishing itself as a world leading centre for advanced manufacturing, blade technology and low carbon innovation. The future is being made by businesses willing to invest in our region and make themselves an integral part of our communities.

“It’s disappointing that Peel does not seem willing to match our ambition for DSA and have not been able to unlock the evident potential of an airport with a prospective customer base of millions.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport

“Public sector partners including Doncaster Council, the LEP and the MCA have all made significant investments in the future of DSA and the wider Gateway East development.

“Prior to today’s announcement, my office was in discussion with Peel Group about a loan of £20m for the delivery of their plans for the airport, and have been in detailed discussion with government about further developing the connectivity of the DSA site.

“I am seeking an urgent meeting with Peel Group to find the best path forward for the communities of South Yorkshire, and I’ll be speaking directly to government about the importance of our regional airport to the economic prospects of South Yorkshire.

“This afternoon I called an urgent meeting with the leaders of our four local authorities, and we will be issuing a joint statement tomorrow.”