Mission Aviation Fellowship

Doncaster’s mayor launches bid to protect airport’s controlled airspace

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones has called on the Civil Aviation Authority to protect the former airport’s controlled airspace.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport closed at the end of 2022 after owners the Peel Group cited the site as financially unviable. Despite bids for the site from the council and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), these were both rejected, and passenger flights were ceased in November before the site was closed altogether.

Controlled airspace is essential for airports to operate commercial flights and, if lost, would make proposals to re-open Doncaster Sheffield airport considerably more complex. The site’s current Class D airspace is currently suspended and is due to elapse unless another air traffic control provider comes forward before 17 February 2023, after which the airspace will be downgraded to Class G on 18 May.

Mayor Ros Jones said she was “seeking cross party political, public and business support to ensure that the case is pressed with the CAA to ensure we don’t lose the airspace permanently that is currently suspended”.

This is important to the future of [Doncaster Sheffield Airport] and I believe with a united front we can urge that the current airspace delegations are not lost,” she added. “It is one less hurdle for a new airport operator to have to negotiate and would enable the airport to re-establish itself more quickly”.

The CAA has begun a consultation process with the site’s stakeholders, which will end on 17 February. According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the council has sent a letter to the CAA asking that the current Class D designation remains suspended for 12 months while negotiations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, following the closure of the airport, an independent inquiry into measures to better protect infrastructure in South Yorkshire has been launched. Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard explained: “What happened to our airport should never have been allowed, and yet we did not have the ability to stop it from happening. We were at the mercy of a private company over whom we had no control, and a government in London who refused to intervene.”

The CAA’s airspace consultation is scheduled to end on 17 February.



Author: FTN Editor

Share This News On