Prime Minister's promise to protect Doncaster Sheffield Airport from closure is welcome - The Yorkshire Post says

The Prime Minister’s promise to intervene over the uncertainty around Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s future is a step in the right direction.

Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley, called on Liz Truss to use the "full weight of her office" in trying to keep the airport open at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Backing regional airports, Ms Truss said: “What I will make sure is that the new transport secretary is immediately on to this issue to make sure we do protect this airport and we protect vital infrastructure and connectivity that helps our economy to grow.”

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Current owner of the airport, Peel Group doesn’t believe aviation activity on the site is “commercially viable”.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport.Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

It has led to calls for Oliver Coppard, Mayor of South Yorkshire, to follow Teesside Airport’s lead and take DSA into public ownership.

But the cost incurred by Teesside and the fact that land on DSA is limited to aviation use, make it not a wholly palatable option and Mr Coppard has been looking for it to end up in the hands of a private company that will commit the airport’s future to aviation.

The fact that the Mayor says "there is market interest" is good news. However, talk of Peel being reluctant to sell or lease clouds the situation further.

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Mr Coppard claims that John Whittaker, chairman of Peel, has not responded to two requests for a face-to-face meeting, to discuss DSA’s future.

If that is the case then the newly appointed Transport Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan should demand and mediate a meeting between the Mayor and Mr Whittaker.

The PM also said she would be “absolutely focusing on levelling up”. Allowing DSA to close and gather dust would send a message that is contrary to levelling up.

The airport, which has been hurt by a passenger shortage, has never realised its full potential. But surely that is what levelling up is about - realising the region’s potential.