Doncaster Sheffield Airport welcomes rival's £150million expansion plans
Bosses at Doncaster Sheffield Airport have welcomed £150million expansion plans at Leeds Bradford Airport saying air travel is ‘critical’ to the North’s economic recovery.
They said Yorkshire is ‘significantly underserved’ by air services and there is room for both sites to grow.
They spoke out after plans to build a new terminal at Leeds Bradford were approved, with a proposed opening date of 2023. Objectors said the plans would contribute to climate change. Leeds City Council said the approval was subject to some conditions and changes and, once agreed, the plans would be referred to the government for a final decision.
Leeds Bradford handles about four million passengers annually, more than double that of Doncaster Airport.
But Kate Stow, director of aviation development and corporate affairs at DSA, said they had room to grow that was ‘unrivalled in the North’.
She added: “It is encouraging to see that there is strong recognition and support for the absolutely critical role that Yorkshire’s airports will play in this region’s economic recovery.
“Yorkshire is significantly underserved in terms of air seats per head of population and it is unsustainable for travellers living on this side of the Pennines to be forced to travel to Manchester.
“Over the past five years, Doncaster Sheffield Airport has been one of the fastest growing in the UK and the launch of a new low-cost carrier base with Wizz Air last year, will only serve to strengthen its position further.
“DSA’s state of the art terminal building was built to serve future growth far in excess of its current throughput and its existing runway could accommodate an operation that is equivalent to that of London’s Stansted Airport. DSA’s terminal and runway infrastructure, including available capacity, is unrivalled in the North of England.”
In October, plans for a £300m rail link between DSA and the East Coast Mainline were rejected by government saying it would not offer value for money.
The link would have involved 4.5 miles of new track.
Supporters said ti would create 72,000 new jobs, bring in £3.2bn of income to South Yorkshire and create easy access to DSA for swathes of Eastern England.
The Department for Transport said there were discrepancies over passenger forecasts but remained "committed to improving connectivity".