Campaigners bidding to save airport call rival’s freight figures ‘abysmal’

BUSINESS leaders mounting a campaign to save Sheffield’s city airport have attacked its regional rival over the “abysmal” rates of freight it handled.

The Federation of Small Businesses has gathered a petition and is planning a public meeting next week in a bid to save the runway in Sheffield from bulldozers.

Its owners already have planning permission to build on the site to extend the Sheffield Business Park but the FSB claims that would be a “disaster” for Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

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Regional chairman of the FSB Gordon Millward said according to Civil Aviation Authority figures, Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport handled 102 tonnes of freight last year, less than Benbecula Airport on the Outer Hebrides and an airport on the Scilly Isles.

He added: “The abysmally low volumes of air freight passing through South Yorkshire’s only commercial airport is just further evidence of the present inability of the Sheffield City Region to compete with neighbouring regions.

“South Yorkshire needs urgently to find means of opening up access to the world’s markets, and we believe the only hope currently is to reinstate Sheffield City Airport to allow local entrepreneurs to have ready access to customers and trading partners in Europe and beyond.”