Doncaster Sheffield Airport closure: 800 jobs at risk as airport closure announced

The Peel Group announced that the strategic review of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has ended and “regrettably no concrete proposals have been received regarding ownership of the airport or to address the fundamental lack of financial viability”.

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The high fixed costs associated with operating a safe, regulated airport, coupled with recent events significantly reducing anticipated future aviation revenues, mean that no break-even business plan can be identified for the foreseeable future, the group said.

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The airport will now be closed for the week beginning Monday 31st October 2022.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport closure: 800 jobs at risk as airport closure announced

Robert Hough, Chairman of Peel Airports Group, which includes Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We are aware that this will be a huge disappointment for many. The stubborn problem remains the fundamental and insufficient lack of current or future revenue streams together with the high operating costs of the airport. Our employees have always been DSA’s greatest asset and we are grateful to all of them, past and present, for their dedication and diligence over the years. The immediate priority remains to continue working closely with them over the next few weeks.

“As such, DSA will now initiate a formal consultation process with team members. We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of these proposals and will work closely with local authorities and agencies to support our employees at what we know is an extremely difficult time. DSA has been in touch with local union representatives throughout and we are committed to keeping them informed at every step of this next phase.”

Steven Underwood, Peel Group Chief Executive, said: “We recognize that we live in uncertain times and we understand that our announcement is important to the communities in Doncaster and more broadly in South Yorkshire, where we have been for over two Years of work and investment will be difficult to hear for decades. However, as has often been seen in industries undergoing structural change, while change can bring uncertainty, it can also present significant opportunities.

“As we complete the strategic review, we look forward to working with our partners to create a vibrant, long-term vision for GatewayEast and the airport site. We will not accept government grants to cover the costs of an airport that is unprofitable due to a lack of future revenue and high operating costs. Accepting funds from SYMCA may postpone the inevitable for another thirteen months, but it will divert funds from services that communities across South Yorkshire depend on.

“Instead, we intend to continue working closely with local and national stakeholders to develop a forward-thinking strategy for the airport site, coupled with the $1.7B GatewayEast development of growth and prosperity. We have the potential to attract cutting-edge, forward-thinking technology companies to South Yorkshire, but only if we are able to work collaboratively with our local stakeholders and the South Yorkshire community.”

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