Wednesday, April 29, 2015

News: DSA Airport celebrates ten years

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Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, the regional airport for the Sheffield city region, is celebrating its tenth birthday with news that passenger and cargo numbers are on the increase.

Peel Holdings bought the site from the Ministry of Defence when it was RAF Finningley in 1999 and has invested around £150m. It was the first airport to open in 50 years when the first commercial flight took off in 2005.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport currently flies to 35 destinations including Spain, Turkey, Poland, the Canaries and Egypt. Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, will be flying five times a week between Doncaster and Dublin from May and Thomson Airways recently announced two new routes to Heraklion, Crete and Larnaca, Cyprus.

Wizz Air also recently announced that it is adding a new route making it ten destinations on the ultra-low-cost carrier from the airport. Doncaster Sheffield Airport is Wizz Air's second largest UK base and the only one in Yorkshire. Currently, the airport operates a total of 33 Wizz Air flights per week to eight destinations including Bucharest in Romania, and Gdansk, Warsaw and Wroclaw in Poland.

A new route to Kosice was announced earlier this year and Riga and Bucharest launched in 2014. The latest destination is Lublin in Poland.

Airline, BMI regional, is hoping to secure funding to start up a weekday return to Frankfurt from DSA starting in 2016. A bid has been submitted to the Government's The Regional Air Connectivity Fund which is providing "start-up aid" to create new routes, boosting connectivity, increasing trade and supporting jobs in the regions.

The new link road currently under construction is of huge importance. The £60m FARRRS project, with £12m from Peel, is estimated to result in £1 billion of further investment and 14,000 jobs.

Steve Gill, managing director of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: "We are delighted to be celebrating the airports tenth birthday.

"This is a very exciting time in the airports history. We have been named the UKs best airport for customer service by Which? magazine, the FARRRS link road which will improve motorway access to the airport is well underway and is due to open in January 2016 reducing journey time to the airport by 15 minutes, and our passenger numbers grew by 8% over the last 12 months, with further strong growth forecast over the next 12 months.

"For passengers we've added ten new routes to our growing destination list in the last 12 months, which is helping to meet the demand for variety.

"Added to this are our cargo figures which show a 112% growth in the last calendar year and through strong partnerships this is an area which is continuing to grow."

Between October and December, the airport saw seven B747-400s operate from the Cargo Terminal, and almost 500 tonnes of freight distributed this year. Through operator Anglo World Cargo, the airport managed a series of aid flights in November and December to Sierra Leone as part of the Government's programme to help those affected by Ebola.

Last year, owners, Peel Holdings, were in the region to update local transport leaders on its current and long term plans for the site, where the leading infrastructure, transport and real estate investment company has purchased 480 acres of additional land.

With a current capacity of 2.3 million passengers a year, Peel's masterplan for 2030 shows that it could accommodate 12 million passengers a year, and because the essential infrastructure - the 2893m runway and all the services - is all future proofed, Peel see no constraints for accommodating nearly 24 million passengers a year in the very long term.

Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield website

Images: Peel

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