Hundreds join rally over closure threat to Doncaster Sheffield Airport

  • Video report by Martin Fisher

Hundreds of people have joined a rally in protest at the possible closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Owner Peel Group announced in July that a review of the airport's future had found that the business "may no longer be commercially viable" and launched a six-week consultation.

The decision was met with consternation from businesses and politicians. Around 90,000 people have signed a petition calling for the airport to be saved.

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard is among those to have called for the consultation period to be extended.

On Saturday, 13 August, a the GMB union held a protest. It said hundreds of its members jobs were at risk, along with thousands more in supporting businesses.

Union spokeswoman Sarah Barnes said: "It doesn't matter to us whether it's public money that goes into it or private money our aim is to save our members jobs we don't want Peel to close it down to mothball it and use the land for other regions."

The airport opened in 2005

Peel says a combination of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a shortfall in passenger numbers caused problems for the airport, which had been exacerbated by the announcement in June that operator Wizz Air was quitting its base there. Tui is now the sole carrier.

But there are concerns that closing the airport would have consequences for the whole region.

Mr Coppard was among the speakers at the rally, along with local MP Dame Rosie Winterton.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, said: "This is about us keeping jobs, keeping growth... so we are fighting and we will collectively fight to keep jobs and growth."

Cllr Mazher Iqbal, of the transport committee, said: "We are bringing in investment. Boeing McLaren and Boeing have recently announced working with Sheffield and the University of Sheffield to look at hydrogen fuel, so Boeing are just around the corner they will need somewhere to test their hydrogen planes."

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