August 2, 2022 12.09 pm

Lincolnshire MPs join campaign to Save Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Over 80,000 people have signed the petition so far

Two local MPs have offered their support to a campaign calling for a u-turn on the proposed closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, as a petition nears 90,000 signatures and a rally is organised.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport, a key travel route for holiday-goers in Lincolnshire, is on the verge of permanent closure following the departure of Wizz Air, meaning TUI is the only base carrier company to be operating from DSA.

Wizz Air claimed that Doncaster Sheffield Airport failed to guarantee the terms of a commercial agreement, while DSA chiefs said Wizz Air had “sacrificed its base to shore up business opportunities”, dealing a “significant blow” to the airport.

A Wizz Air flight from Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

This, along with the financial implications of the pandemic on the travel industry, has prompted DSA bosses to evaluate the future of the site, which was acquired by the Peel Group in 1999 and converted into a commercial airport in 2005.

The news sparked outrage in the community, with a petition set up calling for the airport to be saved in order to save “hundreds of jobs” and prevent the city of Doncaster “going backwards”.

The petition generated mass attention, and at the time of reporting it has over 82,500 signatures in just three weeks. This has now spread into parliament, with Brigg & Goole MP Andrew Percy voicing his support for the campaign.

Conservative MP for Brigg & Goole Andrew Percy. | Photo: NLC

Mr Percy said: “I was disappointed to hear of the proposed closure and, given its importance to our area, I spoke to my colleague Nick Fletcher (MP for Don Valley) to offer my support of his campaign to save the airport.

“As such, I have written to the owners, the Peel Group, to call on the owners to extend the consultation period by a further six weeks, confirm that they are open to outside investors acquiring the airport, and to agree to a 12-month appraisal period.

“There is no doubt that aviation has been hammered by COVID-19 and the shutting down of international travel, but I continue to believe that there is a future for regional airports such as Doncaster.

“I will continue to support Nick and his campaign to save the airport and hope that the owners will reconsider. As the airport is not in my constituency or in North Lincs, the campaign is being led by Nick as the local MP and supported by the other local elected representatives in Doncaster and South Yorkshire. We will do what we can from ‘over the border’ to help.”

TUI airline prepares for take off.\

This has also been echoed by Scunthorpe MP Holly Mumby-Croft, who says she has written to the airport owners to call for a six-week extension to the current consultation period, a 12-month appraisal period, and a guarantee that Peel Group are open to outside investors taking over the airport.

She said: “I have been contacted by a number of constituents recently regarding the proposed closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport. I am really disappointed that this is being proposed, given its importance to us here in Scunthorpe for both jobs and connectivity.

“I have been working with colleagues in the region, particularly Nick Fletcher, the MP for Don Valley, and I will be updating constituents once I have received a response.”

Holly Mumby-Croft, Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe.

A rally has also been arranged by the GMB union. The action takes place at Doncaster Marketplace on Saturday, August 13 at 1pm, with a clear message of saving the airport at the heart of the matter.

“The closure of the airport will place thousands of jobs at risk, including many of our members”, say the GMB, discussing the upcoming rally.

“The closure of the airport will see South Yorkshire lose a vital part of its infrastructure meaning fewer jobs and making the local economy less likely to attract outside investors.

“Doncaster already has some of the lowest rates of pay in all of Yorkshire. The loss of unionised jobs in the local economy will likely exacerbate this problem.”

A six-week review is currently underway at DSA, after the Peel Group said the airport “never achieved the critical mass required to become profitable”, and that “aviation activity may no longer be the use” for the site.

Stakeholders will now be discussing what the future holds for the site, and while this happens the airport will still operate as normal.