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Yorkshire Business Organisations Urge New Transport Secretary To Protect the Airspace Above Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Doncaster UK, 18th August 2019:  The Doncaster Sheffield Robin Hood international airport, outside the front entrance taken on a part cloudy sunny day. in West Yorkshire

With the campaign to reboot Doncaster Sheffield Airport now entering the final stretch — and with victory seemingly in sight —representatives of Yorkshire’s business community have today joined forces and written to Government, calling for its support at this critical juncture.

The open-letter in question is addressed to the newly-appointed Secretary of State for Transport, Louise Haigh MP, and specifically urges her to work with the Civil Aviation Authority, in order to reinstate the airspace above DSA to its former designation.

By protecting the airspace in this way, it will be much easier for the prospective new operator of the revamped site (due to be announced imminently) to get it back up-and-running without unwarranted delay. On the other hand, if the airspace were to lack the proper designation, then it would inevitably cause problems further on down the line and needlessly defer any economic benefit that would otherwise arise from DSA reopening its doors.

Urging the Transport Secretary to therefore intervene, the document was penned by the respective Chief Executives for the three regional Chambers of Commerce (those being the networks for Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley & Rotherham), as well as by representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses, the Sheffield Property Association, Make UK, The Confederation of British Industry Yorkshire and the Humber, and the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. Additional signatories to the letter include Tariq Shah (Co-Chair of the South Yorkshire Business Advisory Board), Peter Kennan (Co-Chair of the South Yorkshire Transport Forum) and Mark Chadwick (Founder of the #SaveDSA campaign). When pooled together, these organisations represent thousands of member businesses and so have real authority and weight when it comes to speaking on behalf of South Yorkshire’s private sector.

The joint letter reads:

“Firstly, we would like to warmly congratulate you upon your new cabinet appointment.

“We are writing — as representatives of South Yorkshire’s business community — to underline the strategic and economic importance of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) within our region, as well as to call for National Government’s aid as we approach the final stretch in our hard-fought campaign to secure its future. Specifically, we would welcome it if you would use your position, as incumbent Transport Secretary, to work with the Civil Aviation Authority to reinstate the airspace above DSA to its former designation, so that the airport can get back up-and-running as soon as feasibly possible.

“When the fate of the airport was first called into question, by its owners announcing a strategic review, it naturally came as a huge blow to the region. Yet it also galvanised us into collective action.

“Over the course of the last two years, we have seen a remarkable collaborative effort — involving various political partners, the local authority, campaigning groups, business organisations and the private sector — with everybody pulling together and showing a united “Team South Yorkshire” front. We certainly have a lot to show for it; indeed, “Team South Yorkshire” has managed to get a deal over the line, secured a 125-year lease for the site, and City of Doncaster Council is on the cusp of announcing a new operator for DSA when it eventually does reopen its doors.

“All this tireless work and investment cannot be in vain, which is why we are writing to you now, at this critical juncture, to help reinstate DSA’s airspace which is presently in jeopardy. Victory is in plain sight, and we cannot afford any unnecessary hurdles that could potentially jeopardise that. If the airspace lacks the proper designation, then it will inevitably cause problems and delays leading to deferred economic benefit at a time when our region and country so badly needs growth; as such, we ask for your support. 

“The airport’s significance for the wider region cannot be understated. After all, an impact study recently found that it has the untapped potential to generate upwards of £1.5 billion in net benefits over the course of three decades, while also representing thousands of jobs for the area too. This is an issue that is close to the hearts of our respective members. The business community is deeply invested in DSA’s survival as they know, just as we do, that successful economies need successful airports.

“With all of that said, we hope that we can count on your support. There is a great opportunity before us here, not only to safeguard one of South Yorkshire’s most valuable assets, but also to demonstrate that the nation’s new Government is joining things up with local partners and squarely behind South Yorkshire’s biggest economic project. We therefore urge you to work with the CAA to reinstate DSA’s airspace as a matter of urgency and would be delighted to meet with you or your officials to discuss this matter further.”

As mentioned in the letter, City of Doncaster Council recently secured a 125-year lease for DSA and is due to announce an operator for the reopened site before the end of Summer.



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