Doncaster Sheffield Airport: South Yorkshire Mayor pledges to try to keep airport open

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has said the will do everything he can to keep Doncaster Sheffield Airport open.

In response to questions put during an event held at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield to mark his first 100 days in office, Mayor Coppard said that airport operator Peel Group had been “disrespectful” not to let his office know sooner that it may no longer be viable.

The operation was hit by the effects of Covid on the travel industry and then by the decision of airline Wizz Air to pull out.

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Mayor Coppard said that a working group had been set up to look at the airport’s future. He added: “You’re looking at the commercial reality of running that airport.

“I want to keep it open and do everything we can to keep that airport open.”

He pointed out, though, that owners Peel can “do what they like with their airport”.

Mayor Coppard said that Doncaster Council’s 15-year plan for the borough states that the area around the airport can only be used for aviation-related activities.

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He added: “My frustration is the lack of powers I have as Mayor of South Yorkshire to do something more fundamental than offer them money to go away.

“We need more powers and control. Assets of community value should be under our control.”

He has previously said that taking the airport into public ownership would be a huge financial risk.

He said Teesside Airport, which was taken under control from Peel, has required a £20 million injection of taxpayers’ money after it struggled.