Doncaster Sheffield Airport is to slash carbon emissions by installing a new £2m solar farm which will generate 25 per cent of the airport’s energy and drastically reduce its carbon footprint.
The solar farm is due to be operational in 2020 and will provide 1.7 MWp of zero carbon energy, saving 220 tonnes of carbon every year – the equivalent of boiling 2.2 million kettles every year.
The Aviation Minister Baroness Vere visited Doncaster Sheffield Airport to hear news of the development, which is a key part of the airport’s 20 year master plan.
Passenger numbers are expected to rise 25 per cent to 1.45 million this year and to double within the next five years. The airport said this is consistent with its market breaking growth over the past five years of over 75 per cent.
The Aviation Minister was also there to witness the airport sign up to the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter which makes a commitment to building a more balanced
and fair industry for women.
This follows the launch of the airport’s Bright Futures schools engagement programme that aims to inspire children, particularly girls, to consider a career in aviation.
Baroness Vere said: “To bring about real change in transport, we need to do things differently. From decreasing carbon emissions at airports to increasing female representation, the aviation industry is acting now to safeguard our future.
“Today’s investment shows that airports are finding practical ways to become cleaner and greener, and Doncaster Sheffield’s commitment to the women in aviation charter is another vote of confidence in our work to build a fairer sector for all.”
Doncaster Sheffield Airport said that through both aviation and rail, it will be the catalyst to deliver thousands of new jobs, housing, advanced manufacturing, logistics, community facilities and provide a major international gateway for the east side of the country.
The airport has launched the highest number of new routes at any airport in the UK since August last year, including fights to Florida, Budapest and Krakow. Flights to Cancun will start next year. It is also expecting another record year for cargo.
More than £300m of private sector money has been invested in the site so far.
The airport's investor, the Peel Group, wants to see an East Coast Mainline link for the airport within the next five years, which is said will turbo charge growth in the region.
Robert Hough, chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “We are pleased that the Aviation Minister recognises our position as a key part of the solution for the UK’s aviation needs and as a growth driver for the economy.
"We are committed to our part in delivering the opportunity here around Doncaster Sheffield Airport which, with the right support from Government, can start making an impact on Northern people's lives now, not years away.
“Our other announcements made today are vitally important for our sustainable future, reducing our carbon emissions alongside our airlines and further committing to women in aviation – both crucial for the long term and central to our values."