Thursday, December 15, 2016

News: DSA's vision to meet demand

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), the regional airport for the Sheffield city region, is preparing plans to deliver a quicker, more affordable and sustainable solution for the North to meet future UK aviation capacity demand for passengers and cargo whilst complementing investment in South East airports.

Owners, Peel Holdings, is looking beyond the current masterplan for the site, past 2030, which includes further development on the airport and wider 1,600 acre site.

With the Government recently announcing its support for a new runway at Heathrow, a new vision plan for DSA is set to be launched in the New Year.

The central proposal is a realignment of the East Coast Mainline (ECML) into the airport along with the creation of a new station. The current line is less than a mile away from the airport boundary. The delivery of this initiative will bring the airport within 1.5 hours rail travel time of London Kings Cross station and in many places quicker than travelling from London to Heathrow or Gatwick airports.

DSA is one of few regional airport sites in the UK which offers unconstrained physical and airspace capacity with the existing runway able to accommodate a throughput of 25 million passengers per annum. The proposal would also support boosting international trade, deliver economic growth and improved connectivity to the Northern Powerhouse area.

The airport is seeking recognition of the scheme's potential as part of the ongoing national debate on aviation capacity.

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Steve Gill, chief executive at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: "The proposal is a symbol of this North's ambition and determination to deliver economic growth. In order to unlock this potential we are calling for the support of policy makers and government to make this idea a reality. This particular project will deliver growth not only in the Northern Powerhouse but up and down the country."

The Infrastructure Investment Plan for the Sheffield city region outlines some £1.7 billion of potential investments in infrastructure around the airport. It said that "Better rail connectivity through a future community rail station at Hayfield Lane and connectivity to ECML and HS2 would permit greater access to DSA via the Doncaster - Lincoln Line or East Coast Mainline and would help unlock European labour markets."

Rothbiz reported in 2014 that airport bosses felt that there was "no constraints for expansion." Further land has been acquired and Peel has launched the Aero Centre Yorkshire (ACY) project using the airport to deliver large scale capability for both passengers and cargo acting as catalyst for wider business investment.

Peel 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. With the opening of the new link road and a transformational deal with FlyBe, 2016 has already seen the the airport record its highest number of passengers in a year, with two months still to be recorded.

DSA Airport website

Images: Peel Group


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