Liz Truss pledges action to 'protect' Doncaster Sheffield Airport from closure

 Doncaster Sheffield Airport lit up in colour
Doncaster Sheffield Airport Credit:

Liz Truss has pledged action to "protect" Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) on her first full day as prime minister.

The South Yorkshire airport's future remains uncertain after its owners, Peel Group, said the business may no longer be viable.

It sparked consternation among politicians and businesses and led to a huge campaign in the region to keep the airport open.

Appearing at her first Prime Minister's Questions, the new Conservative leader was asked by Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher to write to the Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, and Peel Group to "remind them of their duties, powers and responsibilities".

He said: "Will [the prime minister] use the full weight of her office on these decision makers so as to keep our Doncaster Sheffield Airport open?"

In response, Ms Truss said she had already asked the new transport secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, to contact officials in South Yorkshire to discuss the airport's future.

Ms Truss said: "Regional airports, including Doncaster Sheffield, are a vital part of our economic growth.

"[Ms Trevelyan] is already contacting the people in Doncaster and Sheffield to make sure that we do protect this airport and we protect that vital infrastructure and connectivity that helps our economy grow."

Peel Group announced on 13 July that it would launch a consultation over the airport's future after business was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a shortfall in passenger numbers and the departure of operator Wizz Air. Tui is now the sole carrier using the base.

It said, despite growth in passenger numbers, DSA had "never achieved the critical mass required to become profitable".

The announcement has led to protests, a petition signed by more than 100,000 people and a number of public meetings.

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