An airport in Doncaster is a viable proposition – City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet to be told

Next week, City of Doncaster Council (CDC) Cabinet will hear updates on several strands of work looking at the viability of a reopened airport, its economic and growth potential as well as its investment opportunities.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has the potential to be successfully reopened and offer a range of positives including thousands of jobs in aviation, leisure and retail for the City of Doncaster and South Yorkshire.   

Detailed assessments of the financial, business and investment calibre of what is now known as South Yorkshire Airport City – the programme which aims to reopen the airport – show that:   

  • The airport has the potential to be successfully reopened and could be profitable within five years of reopening  
  • It could attract up to two million passengers a year within a decade, which is considerably higher than the annual passenger numbers achieved prior to its closure  
  • It could bring almost 5,000 direct jobs as well as creating up to 11,500 jobs in the wider economy  
  • The net economic benefits of reopening the airport could be up to £1.5 billion within the first three decades of operating  
  • Reopening the airport offers the most favourable balance between economic cost and benefit and is the preferred option  

A series of meetings have taken place between CDC and the current landowners, to acquire a lease of DSA. In addition, the council will be making arrangements to source an operator to run and develop the site. This process would take several months to complete and aims to be concluded by Spring 2024.   

Informally, the council began this process over the summer to run the airport if the lease is agreed. The market test showed that there was strong interest from multiple parties. Part of these deliberations will include discussions on costs associated with getting the airport reopened and operational again.   

The report notes that the council has also been preparing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to regain the site as an option of last resort if a lease is not agreed. Any CPO process would require lease negotiations to have been fully explored and exhausted first before being able to progress with a CPO.   

The extra-ordinary meeting has been called for September 20 where Cabinet will be asked to note the work to date and support the relevant approvals required to progress the programme of works necessary to re-open our airport.   

Mayor Ros Jones said: “Saving the airport is critically important for Doncaster and South Yorkshire. I know the amount of support there is in our city and across the region. I am looking forward to discussing progress to date with Cabinet members and hearing about next steps. I am hopeful that I will soon be able to share some good news about a lease agreement for the site. I know council staff have been working extremely hard since the announcement of the strategic review in July 2022 and indeed over the summer period to get us in as good a position as possible to have a fighting chance of saving our airport.”  

 The public meeting papers are available here. Please note that some sections are commercially confidential and therefore will not be published.