Doncaster Sheffield Airport: Investor now expected to be selected in late summer

The Mayor of Doncaster has announced that the procurement period to find an investor to re-open the region’s airport has been extended.

Mayor Ros Jones has shared on May 17 that the timescale to find a new investor to re-open Doncaster Sheffield Airport has been pushed back.

The mayor gave a statement on the ongoing negotiations to representatives during a meeting of full council.

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport closed in November 2022 following a strategic review into its operations by owner Peel Group.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport protest in October. Credit: Asadour GuzelianDoncaster Sheffield Airport protest in October. Credit: Asadour Guzelian
Doncaster Sheffield Airport protest in October. Credit: Asadour Guzelian

The council has since sought a new investor to re-open the site in a leasehold agreement.

A leasehold agreement was signed by the council in March, allowing for the selected operator to enter into a 125-year contract with Peel.

While an investor was first set to be finalised in Spring, the mayor revealed today that the procurement process has been extended.

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An investor is now set to be appointed in late summer, following requests from potential candidates for more time to prepare their business cases.

Despite the change in timescale, the council stated that progress is still expected to be made throughout spring.

In a cabinet meeting on June 19, the mayor will share updates on the South Yorkshire Airport City programme, the long-term plan to re-open the airport with a surrounding hub of investment.

The council is being supported by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), which released £138million in funding in February for the project.

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While the procurement process continues, the council has been carrying out minor maintenance works at the airport and giving tours to potential investors.

Several queries regarding investment into the site have also reportedly been received.

A public consultation is currently ongoing regarding removing Article 4 planning directions from the site, which would restrict the amount of alterations Peel Group can make without permission.

The deadline for the consultation is the end of May, with the council hoping to gain support for the removal.

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Work is also ongoing to re-establish the site’s controlled airspace, to allow for air traffic control to take place once again.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) originally planned to downgrade the airspace, however delayed a decision at the request of the council.

Mayor Jones and South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard are continuously working with local MPs to lobby the government to allow the airspace to stay in place.

Mayor Jones, Mayor Coppard and Doncaster’s three MPs released a joint statement, which said: “We all fully support the efforts of City of Doncaster Council to save and re-open our airport.

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“We understand that there are still a number of stages before aeroplanes can once again fly from our airport, but the progress made so far cannot be underestimated.

“We will ensure cross-party lobbying of the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority in order to fully re-establish our airspace at the earliest opportunity.

“A reopened airport for Doncaster has incredible potential for Doncaster and South Yorkshire.

“South Yorkshire Airport City incorporates both a re-opened airport and the world leading sustainable aviation hub at Gateway East in Doncaster. “

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