Timescale for new Doncaster Sheffield Airport investor search extended

The airport has been closed since November 2022.

The procurement period to find an investor to re-open Doncaster Sheffield Airport has been extended.

Mayor Ros Jones told Doncaster Council on Friday that the timescale had been pushed back from spring to late summer.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport closed in November 2022 following a strategic review into its operations by owner Peel Group.

The council has since sought a new investor to re-open the site in a leasehold agreement.

A leasehold agreement was signed by the council in March, allowing for the selected operator to enter into a 125-year contract with Peel.

The delay follows requests from potential candidates for more time to prepare their business cases.

Despite the change in timescale, the council stated that progress is still expected to be made throughout spring.

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is helping to fund the project, and released £138million for it in February.

Local politicians and Doncaster Council have been fighting to re-open the airport since it closed.

While the procurement process continues, the council has been carrying out minor maintenance works at the airport and giving tours to potential investors.

Several queries regarding investment into the site have also reportedly been received.

A public consultation is currently ongoing regarding removing Article 4 planning directions from the site, which would restrict the amount of alterations Peel Group can make without permission.

The deadline for the consultation is the end of May, with the council hoping to gain support for the removal.

Work is also ongoing to re-establish the site’s controlled airspace, to allow for air traffic control to take place once again.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) originally planned to downgrade the airspace, however delayed a decision at the request of the council.

Mayor Jones, South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard and Doncaster’s three MPs released a joint statement, which said: “We all fully support the efforts of City of Doncaster Council to save and re-open our airport.

“We understand that there are still a number of stages before aeroplanes can once again fly from our airport, but the progress made so far cannot be underestimated.

“We will ensure cross-party lobbying of the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority in order to fully re-establish our airspace at the earliest opportunity."

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