Airport riding high after cycle race

Chris Harcombe drives the airport car in the Tour de Yorkshire
Chris Harcombe drives the airport car in the Tour de Yorkshire
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Doncaster Sheffield Airport is riding high after supporting the Tour de Yorkshire, hosting a northern transport chief and posting record passenger figures by its biggest airline.

Aviation development manager Chris Harcombe was behind the wheel of a car, with a plane on top, driving the race route ahead of the riders.

He said: “Amazing day out driving the Tour De Yorkshire route promoting Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Massive crowds, huge noise and incredible scenery. Yorkshire you were awesome.”

The three-day race finished at Fox Valley shopping centre in Stocksbridge, Sheffield, on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Wizz Air announced it flew 580,000 passengers from Doncaster last year, an increase of 27 per cent on the year previous. It took the eastern European specialist to a total of 3m passengers flown since its first flight to Katowice in September 2006.

Owain Jones, chief corporate officer at Wizz Air, said: “This growth means Wizz Air is supporting 300 local jobs and we expect to grow passenger numbers on our Doncaster-Sheffield services by another 10 per cent in 2017.”

At the same time, airport and city region bosses welcomed John Cridland, CBE, chair of Transport for the North and used the visit to push plans for an East Coast mainline station on the site, which is big enough to handle 25m passengers a year.

Mr Cridland met Robert Hough, chairman of Peel Airports, Peter Nears, strategic planning director of Peel Group and Sir Nigel Knowles Chris Scholey and Martin McKervey of Sheffield City Region LEP.

Sir Nigel said: “We see DSA as a nationally significant airport and our emerging transport prospectus will look to highlight the importance of East Coast Mainline station connectivity for the airport as a priority.”

John Cridland said: “The airport is well placed to support improvements in passenger travel and in freight and logistics. I look forward to working in with leaders from the region as our strategic transport plan is developed.”