Doncaster Sheffield Airport owners ‘make commitment not to abandon site’ says Mayor Oliver Coppard

South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard has said Doncaster Sheffield Airport owners ‘made a commitment’ that they will ‘not simply abandon the site’.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 12:39 pm

The mayor, addressing South Yorkshire’s council leaders earlier in the day, also said government needed to change its ‘short-sighted hands-off approach’ and become more involved in saving the site.

A working group has been set up with a senior team from SYMCA, Doncaster Council and representatives from owners Peel.

Mayor Coppard said the government was invited to take part but ‘sadly’ declined’.

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The first group meeting which was held on Monday evening (July 25) was said to be ‘positive and productive’.

On social media, after the meeting Mayor Coppard said Peel ‘made a commitment’ that they will ‘not simply abandon the site’ and sit on the land until they can get planning permission for another use.

SYMCA officers are now set to begin conversations with airlines, industry experts and other airports, with a view to us getting a wider view about the future of DSA.

“I want to see DSA thrive as a working commercial private sector-led airport,” Mayor Coppard said.

“DSA’s future relies on national, regional and local government working together alongside the private sector. Sadly, the government has chosen not to join it at this point.

“The MCA has a long history of support for the airport and Peel. Back in 2017, we helped fund the construction of the Great Yorkshire Way with £9 million and loans for more than £8 million to improve the car park and to improve passenger capacity.

“In 2020, we started discussions about another loan and it was agreed in principle about getting more information from Peel about how to meet the challenges of getting to Net Zero. We weren’t able to get all that done before the mayoral election and were then put on pause.

“I hope the government changes their short-sighted, apathetic, hands-off approach to DSA. Their lack of engagement with me, DMBC and with our negotiations so far does not fill me with much confidence.

“For their claim they have no role here is a woeful fabrication of their responsibility in my view. Government are part of the solution and if they’re not part of the solution then I think they’ll be part of the problem.

“Only if the MCA, Doncaster Council Peel Group and the government work together then we can keep DSA open for business as a thriving airport.”