Focus on expanding Sheffield airport instead of Doncaster

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I think that Stuart Green (Star, August 21) should have gone to Specsavers to buy his rose-tinted spectacles, before he looked at Doncaster Airport.

His idea that the airport should be expanded for both passenger and freight traffic is naive to say the least. You cannot force airlines and tour operators to use an airport if they cannot make a profit, and by not using Doncaster the airlines have shown that they are not interested – the truth is that the catchment area of people here is just too small which is why so few airlines operate from there.

Budget airline Wizz Air are one of the main customers there and their main trade is shuttling Eastern European workers to and fro.

If we come out of the EU, Doncaster’s already poor passenger figures will plummet even further (690,000 for 2013 compared with Manchester’s 20.7m).

As to his suggestion that freight movements may be increased, this is highly unlikely as East Midlands Airport, in the middle of England, has this market virtually sewn up. The tonnage here for 2013 was 266,968 tonnes compared with Doncaster’s derisory 354 tonnes.

The much vaunted FARRRS relief road, which Stuart thinks will solve all the problems, will not make all that much difference.

His estimated 25-minute journey time from Sheffield may just be possible at 3am, driving a Ferrari, but most certainly not during the working day.

The sad thing about the ‘spin’ which has been circulating about Doncaster Airport is that both Stuart and the Chamber of Commerce seem so eager to swallow it. They were not so eager to support Sheffield City Airport, and its large catchment area, even though it is on their doorstep and was and is a viable proposition.

Howard Greaves

S7