The Government can help save Doncaster Sheffield Airport if it wants to - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: David Blackburn, Ilkley.

Following much coverage regarding the potential impending closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport ‘Minister turns down meeting with MPs on rescuing airport’ (October 14) and a general reluctance to become involved suggesting its ‘down to the council’ (October 13). The government needs reminding that in 2008 it set up a process for considering the future of infrastructure of national importance by the National Infrastructure Commission that included airports.

Other government initiatives include the National Infrastructure Strategy for Airports and more specifically it has produced a ‘National policy statement’ regarding surprisingly ‘New runway capacity in the South East’, following which the government opted for new runway capacity at Heathrow, but even that report noted that a ‘need to make best use of existing infrastructure would remain’.

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You will notice a theme here in that in recent years HM government has wished to become much more involved in National Infrastructure to speed up the process of overcoming ‘infrastructure challenges’.

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

To me all this suggests that airport capacity most certainly is down to the national government and not ‘down to the council’ as suggested by the Secretary of State for Transport?

If DSA closes it will require a planning application for ‘change of use’ to industrial/ commercial rather than transport use and the Secretary of State for Transport would have to become involved? So why not now.

Whilst not a supporter of increased airport capacity, is it sustainable/ environmentally acceptable to spend £14bn on a new runway at Heathrow and allow the asset/spare capacity at DSA, on the outskirts of an urban area, to finish up on the scrapheap? Not to me it is not.

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Is building a new runway in the middle of a densely populated area near Heathrow with all the negative environmental, health and education issues for locals really best for the whole country and if I am correct this process has/is being delayed by legal challenges putting the required opening date of 2030 in doubt.