Doncaster Sheffield Airport owners Peel have ‘questions to answer’ after ‘bolt from the blue’ closure threat says Ed Miliband

Doncaster MP Ed Miliband has said airport owners Peel ‘have questions to answer’ over its ‘bolt from the blue decision’ over the possible closure of DSA.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 15th July 2022, 11:28 am

The Labour MP said the move was ‘absolutely shocking’ and he had no prior warning of the decision from Peel which said the viability of Doncaster Sheffield Airport was being placed under ‘strategic review’.

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.

Doncaster North MP spoke to reporter George Torr on the potential closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Miliband attended a meeting with council figures, South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard and fellow Doncaster MPs Nick Fletcher and Dame Rosie Winterton to discuss ‘next steps’ in securing the airport’s future.

There has been talk of following a move up in the North East when Conservative mayor Ben Houchan organised a £40 million buyout of Teesside International Airport from Peel following a similar threat of closure.

But Miliband said that decision would be for South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard and all involved ‘had to make it add up’,

“It’s absolutely shocking what’s happened to Doncaster airport and we’ve got to leave no stone unturned in finding a viable future for it,” Mr Miliband told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The Doncaster Free Press is fully behind campaign to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport from closure.

“My sympathy is for the workers, hundreds of workers who rely on employment there and we know the tough times and the tough times people are going through.

“It’s part of our plans across the city and as a region and exciting plans to put it at the forefront of net zero in terms of aviation emissions which is a big and important project.

“We are all hard at work on this, the government’s got to play a role in this – it didn’t really take notice of the problems in the aviation industry during the pandemic.

“There’s questions that’s got to be answered by the government, conversions need to be had with Peel who own the airport about how this bolt from the blue happened.

“The airport is a really important part of our economic plans.

“We’ve got to make sure that it’s value for money and if it involves central government money or money from the South Yorkshire mayor, we know the finances are really tight and there aren’t huge amounts to spend locally and we’ve got to make it add up.”