Doncaster Sheffield Airport Statements

Find below all the statements issued on the airport.

Latest release

21 March 2024

Major Announcement - Lease for former Doncaster Sheffield Airport signed  

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones has today announced that a lease to take over the former Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has been signed.  

The 125-year lease will help to ensure the future of the airport site with an ambition to return planes to the skies from the city.  

The announcement follows over a year of detailed and complex negotiations with landowners the Peel Group. The lease agreement is the first stage in the process to reopen the airport. The next stage is the appointment of an airport operator to manage the operational airport.  

“This is a significant day in our ambition to reopen the airport as the lease has been signed,” said Mayor Jones.  

“I was determined to find a way to secure the future of aviation in Doncaster and this agreement helps us along the way to reopening our airport and seeing planes taking off once again.  

“This is a major step in the reopening process. The next is appointing an operator and investor who will manage and develop the airport. This process is well underway and I am optimistic that I can announce a partnership later in the spring.  

“I would like to personally thank council officers who have worked tirelessly with great dedication, insight, determination and skill to get us to where we are today. This has been no mean feat. Let’s look forward to the future with an airport that will help boost the economic and growth fortunes of our city, South Yorkshire and the north.  

“I would also like to thank my fellow South Yorkshire Leaders for backing the efforts of me and this council to save and reopen our airport. This airport is for the whole of South Yorkshire.” 

The lease signing forms part of the South Yorkshire Airport City programme which City of Doncaster Council put in place dedicated to working towards reopening the airport. The programme covers all the technical, legal, procurement and financial work necessary to progress securing the site and preparing essential requirements ahead of a partnership with an operator. The programme is not the name of the airport which would be determined at a future date.

Previous releases

20 September 2023

Airport reopening plans given overwhelming support by City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet 

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones and her Cabinet at City of Doncaster Council (CDC) have today given their unanimous support to reopen Doncaster Sheffield Airport. 

CDC’s Cabinet has supported a wide range of work that has been underway during the last year and critically into 2023, to find a solution to reopening the site which could unlock millions of pounds worth of investment and jobs. 

Mayor Ros Jones and her cabinet members heard that the airport is a viable proposition and could be in profit within five years of reopening leading to increased prosperity for the city and the region. 

South Yorkshire Airport City (SYAC) is the name of the programme to reopen the airport which closed last year and to develop a cluster of high value economic activity on the site including employment, retail and leisure as well as returning planes to the sky. 

“Re-opening Doncaster Sheffield Airport is my number one priority, “said Mayor Ros Jones, “Finding a solution that would mean so much to local communities and businesses and underline our ambition as one of the UK’s newest cities is crucial. 

“We are hopeful that a lease can be secured and look forward to working with interested parties in the reopening the airport. We have already initially tested the market for those industry experts who can partner with us to get the airport reopened as soon as we can.   If we get the lease agreed then reopening the airport will not happen overnight of course but it would be a huge step forward. Cabinet was certainly reassured by the tremendous amount of hard work that has happened to date and I would like to thank council staff who have been dedicated to the South Yorkshire City Airport (SYAC) programme and their work continues. 

“I do hope that we can share good news soon and continue the journey to reopen our airport.” 

Cabinet supported the recommendations to put in place the arrangements to sign a lease if it is agreed as well as other requirements including potential funding support. 

It also heard that reopening the airport would not only restore international connectivity for Doncaster and South Yorkshire, which is currently the biggest City Region in Europe without an airport, but also be a catalyst for economic growth. 

The cabinet report can be viewed here. Some sections are not available as they are commercially confidential. 

12 September 2023

An airport in Doncaster is a viable proposition – City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet to be told   

Next week, City of Doncaster Council (CDC) Cabinet will hear updates on several strands of work looking at the viability of a reopened airport, its economic and growth potential as well as its investment opportunities.   

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has the potential to be successfully reopened and offer a range of positives including thousands of jobs in aviation, leisure and retail for the City of Doncaster and South Yorkshire.   

Detailed assessments of the financial, business and investment calibre of what is now known as South Yorkshire Airport City – the programme which aims to reopen the airport – show that:   

  • The airport has the potential to be successfully reopened and could be profitable within five years of reopening  
  • It could attract up to two million passengers a year within a decade, which is considerably higher than the annual passenger numbers achieved prior to its closure  
  • It could bring almost 5,000 direct jobs as well as creating up to 11,500 jobs in the wider economy  
  • The net economic benefits of reopening the airport could be up to £1.5 billion within the first three decades of operating  
  • Reopening the airport offers the most favourable balance between economic cost and benefit and is the preferred option  

A series of meetings have taken place between CDC and the current landowners, to acquire a lease of DSA. In addition, the council will be making arrangements to source an operator to run and develop the site. This process would take several months to complete and aims to be concluded by Spring 2024.   

Informally, the council began this process over the summer to run the airport if the lease is agreed. The market test showed that there was strong interest from multiple parties. Part of these deliberations will include discussions on costs associated with getting the airport reopened and operational again.   

The report notes that the council has also been preparing a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to regain the site as an option of last resort if a lease is not agreed. Any CPO process would require lease negotiations to have been fully explored and exhausted first before being able to progress with a CPO.   

The extra-ordinary meeting has been called for September 20 where Cabinet will be asked to note the work to date and support the relevant approvals required to progress the programme of works necessary to re-open our airport.  

Mayor Ros Jones said: “Saving the airport is critically important for Doncaster and South Yorkshire. I know the amount of support there is in our city and across the region. I am looking forward to discussing progress to date with Cabinet members and hearing about next steps. I am hopeful that I will soon be able to share some good news about a lease agreement for the site. I know council staff have been working extremely hard since the announcement of the strategic review in July 2022 and indeed over the summer period to get us in as good a position as possible to have a fighting chance of saving our airport.”  

The public meeting papers are available here. Please note that some sections are commercially confidential and therefore will not be published.

06 September - City of Doncaster Council to hold special Cabinet meeting on Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) 

City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet is to meet on the 20 September to be updated on work to reopen Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA). 

An extraordinary Cabinet meeting will be held to updated on the range of work that has been taking place on the programme to save the airport – South Yorkshire Airport City (SYAC). 

The public meeting papers will be available a week before the meeting on the council’s website. 

3 July 2023 - Joint statement from Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard and Doncaster's 3 MPs

As part of the City of Doncaster Council’s preparations for a potential lease of the former Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) site from owners Peel, it has launched a search to find an investor/operator for the airport.

The council has gone out to the market that specialises in this sector ranging from investors with the capital to invest in the airport to aviation experts who have the experience and technical knowledge of running an airport to find the support it needs if the lease is agreed. The council is continuing its negotiations with Peel in the meantime.

This is an extremely positive step to deliver a successful future for the airport. We share this determination, and all believe an airport site of this size and calibre, even now closed, is an attractive proposition to the aviation industry and early feedback in this investor search seems to reflect our collective view. This complex piece of work is of course commercially confidential so there are no further details that can be shared. This initiative will continue into the summer and an update will be given when there is more to say and at the appropriate time.

We are hopeful that this initiative will ultimately reopen the airport. However, we are realistic that this is a complex undertaking and there are no guarantees. The council is still prepared to carry out a Compulsory Purchase Order for the site as an ultimate backstop if either a direct sale by Peel to a party that has shown previous interest or a lease to the council do not transpire.

16 June - Update on DSA inc. joint statement from Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, Mayor of SY Oliver Coppard and Doncaster's 3 MPs

This latest update encompasses the matter of controlled airspace at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA).

DSA is an important regional and national infrastructure asset that underpins economic growth, spatial development and transport strategies in South Yorkshire. It is central to helping the area level up and we remain committed to reopening DSA.

In an earlier update, we outlined that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will on Monday June 19 close its window for comments on the latest stage of its proposal to change the airspace associated with the airport. At this point - Step 5a - of the airspace change process, a ‘call-in window’ is opened in which anyone can make a request that the final decision on the airspace change is made by the Secretary of State for Transport instead of the CAA.  Only the more significant changes can be ‘called in’ in this way, and even if a proposal meets the criteria to be called-in, the Secretary of State does not have to call it in.

The City of Doncaster Council is taking part in the process and has asked that the Secretary of State calls in the Airspace Change Proposal (ACP) for DSA and that the airspace is suspended rather than permanently changed. The council has asked for any decision to be delayed until the end of the year as it is in active commercial negotiations with Peel over lease terms. If the lease does not happen then the council is still prepared to compulsory purchase the site.

This latest update encompasses the matter of controlled airspace at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA).

09 June - Update from Mayors of Doncaster & South Yorkshire & Doncaster MPs

Work continues to secure the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

This week saw South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) approve a £3.1m financial package, supporting City of Doncaster Council with the complex preparations of a Compulsory Purchase Order, SYMCA also agreed future funding for Doncaster’s Place Plan, including the potential purchase of DSA.

Work will continue to be progressed through the summer, both negotiations on a potential lease and the legal preparations for a CPO will continue.

There continues to be some misinformation being shared on social media in relation to stripping of the airport. The units within the terminal building (shops, restaurants, bar etc) had fittings which were the property of the tenants. Those tenants have now removed those fixtures and fittings, which is perfectly normal. Certain fittings within the terminal were also leased from external companies and have been returned.

There will of course be costs to reinstate airport operations.  All these costs will form part of our business plan which is currently being prepared. We have potential buyers and operators who are aware of what would be required and are fully prepared to work with us to make our airport a success. 

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard and Doncaster 3 MPs said;

“In our previous update we highlighted the work on the Article 4 direction to protect the site with a planning measure and also the importance of retaining our airspace permissions. Whilst this work reaches its natural conclusion, we continue to engage with a number of parties including the Civil Aviation Authority (Airspace) and Peel (on a potential lease) to ensure we receive the best outcome for our residents and businesses.”

“Peel continues to be unwilling sellers; they have not gone to the open market or made any effort to sell the airport as an operational airport and working business. As elected officials of Doncaster we fully support the work to save our airport from City of Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.”

“This week, we were pleased to agree a package of financial support – supported by leaders across the region in SYMCA - for the CPO legal process.”

“We fully understand that the CPO is a last resort and hope to see progress in relation to the potential long-term lease of the airport, but we are resolute in our determination to see our airport reopen.”

22 May - Joint Statement from Mayors of Doncaster & South Yorkshire & Doncaster MPs 

A considerable amount of work is ongoing and this update covers the controlled airspace at the airport and a planning measure that has been approved by City of Doncaster Council.

Firstly, The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was due to make a decision very soon on whether the controlled airspace around Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) should be removed. This would mean the future functionality of an airport would be detrimentally affected and if removed, any operator would have to secure its reinstatement.

City of Doncaster Council has urged that the consultation period is extended to allow further conversations on this important element. The CAA have confirmed they are still in the decision-making period and have not yet decided the outcome for the Airspace Change Proposal (ACP).  

At Stage 4B of the airspace change process, a ‘call-in window’ is opened in which anyone can make a request that the final decision on the airspace change is made by the Secretary of State for Transport instead of the CAA.  

This is not an extension of the consultation, but the next stage in the airspace change process. The window to request a call-in opened on Friday 19 May 2023 and will close at 0900 on Monday 19th June.

Only the more significant changes can be ‘called in’ in this way, and even if a proposal meets the criteria to be called-in, the Secretary of State does not have to call it in.

There is of course no guarantee the airspace will be maintained, given the airport is now closed, however the council has asked for any decision to be delayed following the consultation until the end of the year to allow negotiations to progress.

We believe that the airport has a viable future, a future sale / lease is realistic and that keeping the status of the airspace around the airport the same whilst these negotiations and conversations are ongoing is appropriate. The council is still in detailed negotiations with Peel on a potential lease.

Last Friday Cllr Nigel Ball approved a new planning measure which will help protect and preserve the infrastructure at DSA. We very much support this.

Subject to the ensuing call-in period for the decision, the demolition of any building at the airport will require planning permission to be granted permitting it. The measure, known as an immediate Article 4 Direction, allows the council to remove certain rights which would otherwise be permitted without needing to apply for planning permission.

With an Article 4 Direction in place, any proposal to demolish a building at the airport – including the terminal, control tower and runway – will need to be assessed via the full planning process.

We are pleased that this step has been taken and we will collectively continue to fight for the airport.


*Please note: our original release (22.05) has been updated with new information regarding the Airspace Change Proposal (ACP).

11 May 2023 - Planning powers recommended to help safeguard Doncaster Sheffield Airport

A planning measure that would make planning permission a necessity before any building on the Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) site can be demolished is to be considered next week.

A report to City of Doncaster Council’s Portfolio Member for Planning highlights that the planning tool - which is known as an Article 4 Direction - could be made with immediate effect if approved and could help to preserve the airport and its operational ability, which is essential given the local and regional desire to see the airport re-open in the future.

The direction would ensure that any proposals to demolish buildings in the defined area are subject to a planning application and assessment via a full planning process. These buildings include the control tower, fire station, hangars, cargo and transit sheds, the runway and the terminal building.

The report which will be considered next week (May 19) sets out what the direction means, the reasons it is required, the consultation undertaken and the potential next steps.

The direction, which would be made under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended), is a means by which certain rights which would otherwise be permitted without needing to apply for planning permission (otherwise known as ‘Permitted Development Rights’) can be removed. By removing specific permitted development rights, a planning application would be required to approve any proposal to demolish buildings at the airport, and any application would therefore be subject to the normal national and local policy considerations and key statutory consultation.

Over 96 per cent of people who responded to a public consultation on the Article 4 Direction supported the move to safeguard the site. The remainder of responses were either neutral or opposed the potential move.

The report also notes that an international airport brings benefits to the residents of Doncaster. There are direct benefits, such as ease of access to an international airport for foreign or potentially domestic air travel. There are also wider economic benefits in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) generated from jobs and businesses directly or indirectly associated with the airport in both Doncaster, South Yorkshire and the UK. An airport enables access to and from international markets for trade, businesses and tourism. It can also act as a driver to stimulate growth in higher value economic sectors which are lacking in Doncaster and can drive GVA up as well as stimulating growth in supply chains.

The Article 4 Direction is also recommended following comments made by representatives for the Peel Group that certain buildings could be at risk of demolition, although these representations did not provide specific details.

The report can be viewed at Issue details - Article 4 Direction removing permitted development rights linked to the demolition of buildings at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. - Modern Council (

The consultation on the proposed Article 4 Direction ran from April 5 – April 26 2023 and received 271 responses. Of these, 261 (96.3 per cent) were in support, four responses against (1.5 per cent) and seven responses were neutral or did not express an opinion (2.2 per cent).

5 May 2023 - Joint update on South Yorkshire Airport City programme from Mayor Ros Jones and Doncaster MPs

It has been a busy period in early April and over the Easter break as work continues on efforts to secure the airport’s future.
The latest information covers three key updates – City of Doncaster Council Cabinet support, planning steps to safeguard assets on the airport site and development on possible lease arrangements.
Firstly, City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet today supported a request for £3.1m worth of funding towards the legal and programme costs associated with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) if it is required following all other avenues, such as a sale or lease, are exhausted.
Cabinet heard that the programme to re-open DSA has been called South Yorkshire Airport City. It aims to see the airport re-open and grow a cluster of businesses and commercial activity that complements traditional aerospace functions. The wider airport city development could incorporate employment, Research & Development, retail and leisure opportunities, with excellent transport links, supporting new inward investment into Doncaster and South Yorkshire with the airport at its heart.
There has also been an offer to the council of a lease to take over the site with Peel as landlords. Conversations are still ongoing regarding this and one of the steps is to negotiate what that could look like legally including what is known as heads of terms. This is essentially a preliminary legal document which sets out the framework for a lease so it can be agreed in principle between the parties in the course of initial negotiations. City of Doncaster Council has now sent that document to Peel for consideration. No further comment can be made on the contents of the document as they are commercially sensitive.
Finally, the council is proposing to put in place planning restrictions to ensure the airport site does not lose its essential buildings and infrastructure without first obtaining planning permission. This is known as an Article 4 Direction which in this case would mean planning permission is required before any buildings are demolished at the airport. You can find more at Article 4 Directions - City of Doncaster Council including details of how to submit any comments.
Peel has confirmed that it is intending to remove some of the landing lights and put them into storage which has already been agreed with City of Doncaster Council.
As elected officials of Doncaster we appreciate the amount of work that is being undertaken to protect the site and also to try to find a solution for its future. We understand there are still conversations underway between interested parties in a potential purchase direct of the site from Peel. So, all in all, there is still much happening and updates will be given when appropriate to do so. 

31 March 2023 - Financial Support for airport's future to be discussed

City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet is being asked to ring-fence over £3million towards the legal and programme costs associated with its ongoing fight to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport. 

On Wednesday April 12, City of Doncaster Council’s Cabinet will discuss a report that sets out the current position in relation to Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) and the extensive activity being undertaken to secure the future of the airport. It also outlines the initial programme costs of up to £3.1m if a Compulsory Purchase Order is required. 

Doncaster Sheffield Airport closed at the end of 2022 following a short strategic review by its owners, despite the offer of financial support from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and City of Doncaster Council. 

The project to re-open DSA has been called South Yorkshire Airport City. It aims to re-open the airport and grow a cluster of businesses and commercial activity that complements traditional aerospace functions, including logistics. The wider airport city development could incorporate employment, Research & Development, retail, leisure and residential opportunities, with excellent transport links, supporting new inward investment into Doncaster and South Yorkshire. 

Given the significant number of jobs and the major economic potential of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the report highlights the council’s intention that the airport should be acquired from Peel with a view to its reopening. 

Whilst the Council understands that there have been credible financial offers to purchase DSA, to date none of these has been accepted by current owners, Peel. Peel has recently offered a lease of the airport to City of Doncaster Council. Discussions are taking place to progress this option and to explore whether a lease at a longer term and on a different commercial basis than that initially offered by Peel could provide a basis upon which to achieve the Council’s objectives. 

The Council will continue discussions with Peel over the potential sale but is continuing preparations in the event that a CPO becomes necessary. 

It is hoped that the legal and programme costs will ultimately be covered by regional funding recovered from a loan previously extended to Peel, with a decision by SYMCA on this funding anticipated in June 2023. 

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones said: “Sadly, our award-winning airport has now closed, but the fight is not over! Our aim is to reach agreement on the acquisition of the airport with Peel, but if necessary we will seek to compulsorily purchase the site and we are preparing for that eventuality now, should it be required. 

“The acquisition process will take time and it will not be cheap. However, this airport has the potential to be the jewel in the crown of the Doncaster and South Yorkshire economy. It is an investment in the future of this great city and the region. That is why this report to Cabinet sets out the latest position and asks for the support to progress our endeavours for the site’s future. I hope a sale can be achieved but, if not, we have to plan for other ways to secure the airport for the aviation industry, our communities and our economy.” 

The Cabinet report can be read here.

14 March 2023 - A joint update on Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) from Mayor Ros Jones, Mayor Oliver Coppard and Doncaster MPs

The Mayors of Doncaster and South Yorkshire and the city’s three MPs have given the latest update on efforts to secure the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA). 

Substantial preparations and background work continues to take place as part of the potential acquisition of the airport through a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), if no sale is forthcoming. 

As part of the CPO process, this week (w/c 13th March) City of Doncaster Council will be engaging with local landowners and occupiers in and around the potential development area. This is known as land referencing and will map out what land is owned or occupied by whom so landowners and occupiers can be contacted with further details about any future project so they are able to comment on any proposals. This would also include what the CPO could cover and how the proposed site could be designed. The process would mean that those potentially affected would be contacted to discuss any land rights required by the council for the project. 

In addition to land referencing, engagement continues with Peel and other parties around the potential for a negotiated sale of DSA. 

In a joint statement Mayors Ros Jones (City of Doncaster Council) and Oliver Coppard (South Yorkshire) and three Doncaster MPs (Rt. Hon. Dame Rosie Winterton MP, Rt.Hon. Ed Miliband MP and Nick Fletcher MP) said: 

“As Mayors and MPs, we are collectively working to save our airport. We all want to see our airport reopen, secure the future of aviation in Doncaster and support the economy of Doncaster and South Yorkshire. 

“As part of these efforts, the City of Doncaster Council is leading work to secure a CPO for the airport site. A CPO is a complex and often lengthy process taking up to two years. 

“The sensitive nature of this activity means much of the work must happen behind the scenes and we support the measures that are being put in place. 

“Of course we would rather Peel does the right thing and sell the airport to an interested party. 

“We will continue to work together where this does not prejudice the CPO process. 

“We will of course keep the public and business community updated on progress as and when we can.”

1 December 2022 - Legal challenge unsuccessful but council vows to fight on with a CPO process

Doncaster Council has today received the Judgement of the Administrative Court on its application to Judicially Review the decision of Doncaster Sheffield Airport Limited and the Peel Group to close Doncaster Sheffield Airport. 

Although the court’s judgement found that much of the council’s submission had merit unfortunately, it has determined that we do not have the ability to ensure that the airport remains open. 

Mayor Ros Jones said: “Whilst I am disappointed in this decision, we knew we had to test Peel’s decision legally and although the judge’s decision has not fallen on our side, we do not regret taking this to court. We have to use every legal tool at our disposal and this was one of them. The other is a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) that the council supported and we will now progress. We knew that the judicial review in itself would not have saved the airport as it could not have compelled Peel to reverse their decision to close Doncaster’s Airport. 

“The only way this will happen is if Peel sell the airport (and the investors we identified are still talking to Peel) or if we are successful in securing a CPO of the airport site and works with the market to secure an operator. 

“I remain convinced that Doncaster’s airport can and should be a success and I remain committed to the fight for Doncaster Sheffield Airport. 

“I hope that the Peel Group will reach a deal with the interested purchasers, but in the event that this does not happen then, I have instructed Doncaster Council officers to now focus their efforts on the preparation for a CPO of the airport site.   There is significant backing for this course of action, with cross party support by Doncaster Councillors, local and regional MPs and also the business community with the latest South Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey showing 69% in favour of a CPO and only 7% against. 

“My thoughts as always are with those people who are losing their jobs as a result of Peel’s actions and decisions – it did not have to be like this. We will continue to fight for DSA.”

25 October 2022 - An Update from Mayor Ros Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

I listened with interest to the debates in UK Parliament yesterday regarding Doncaster Sheffield Airport and what can be done to help save it.

A number of the suggestions last night were either not feasible or not practical, especially within such a short timescale.
As I have said before, DSA is a significant asset for not only our city, but the wider Yorkshire and Humber region and the nation given the Ministry of Defence and blue light operations that operate from the airport.
I have been pushing for Peel to be reasonable and let others who believe the site has a future step in and buy it.
I have said before that if there is no collaborative arrangement for the airport’s future due to their unreasonable closure timescale, Doncaster Council will initiate the process for Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) and investigate if we can go to the courts for a judicial review of Peels decision. A CPO would not save the airport as it would take roughly two years and would only buy the land.
We have been made aware that Peel has apparently started to degrade the site by stripping out critical assets to the operation of the airport therefore potentially making it unusable and unsellable. This is totally unacceptable when we have brought potential buyers to their door and conversations are ongoing. So unless Peel confirms today they will not do anything to effectively wind down the site, then I have instructed Doncaster Council officers to go to the courts for an injunction to stop this. I have written to Peel setting this legal action out and that they must pause the airport closure so a sale can be agreed and jobs saved.
I also want the site to remain functioning for business and general aviation purposes for the industries that use the site whilst negotiations are continuing and concluded. Making the site inoperable puts their businesses in further jeopardy.
It is clear to me and senior officers who have been dedicated to saving the airport that it could be viable if operated and managed correctly and if that was not the case, why have we found other interested parties who want to take it on and run it as a thriving successful airport. Our financial offer of up to £7 million to underwrite losses for up to two years still remains on the table.
If Peel does not behave reputably and in good faith then we will take legal action against them.

13 October 2022 - An Update from Mayor Ros Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Today I, along with Oliver Coppard, the South Yorkshire Mayor, have written to the owners of Doncaster Sheffield Airport to urge them to seriously consider offers for the purchase of the site which could safeguard its future. 

Senior Officers have been working tirelessly around the clock, practically seven days a week to bring interested investors to Peel’s door so they can negotiate a deal to sell. 

We have not been able to divulge details of the significant amount of work going on but we feel we are now at a point where we should make it clear that our efforts have found several highly interested parties who want to progress a potential purchase of the airport. 

Although we cannot, for commercial reasons, reveal who exactly the interested parties are, they have the commercial and financial pedigree Peel demands ranging from an overseas conglomerate of businesses and investors, a large global asset investment business to a regional airport owner/operator. These investors we have found collectively, have had productive conversations with and developed their considerable interest. We have already shared their details and credentials with Peel. Now we need Peel to be reasonable and give them the time they have asked for to have those detailed negotiations. We hope this could lead to a successful solution and match for DSA. 

These investors have told us they believe the airport is viable. They see a future for DSA as an airport and want to negotiate with Peel but need more time to complete complex legal and financial requirements, as is normal in any deal and particularly so with one of this size and scale. 

Peel needs to reconsider the closure and stop winding down DSA. They need to accept the public sector offer to cover their losses for 13 months while negotiations of a sale are progressed and concluded. We have also this week offered to extend that period within which the financial support could be used to 24 months. 

We have also spoken to existing airline and commercial operators who use DSA who have said that they would remain if Peel reversed the closure. There is also considerable interest from new airlines, freight and other aviation industries that would like to use and invest in the airport and would do if Peel would end this uncertainty and negotiate. 

It is extremely disappointing that Peel has created an atmosphere of scepticism, worry and concern that has badly influenced and impacted the aviation industry, including innovators who are looking to develop future growth and expertise. We of course are acutely aware of the devastating impact on those 800 people whose jobs are on the line and the further 1900 jobs which could be impacted by the closure in industries that rely on the airport. 

The issue we have is that Peel is a reluctant seller. They have not put DSA on the market or actively sought new owners. Their actions have clearly underlined that view so we urgently need the Prime Minister to step in, use her powers and her influence to prevent closure in early November. DSA is a significant asset to Doncaster and this country.

We are of course continuing to talk to Peel in good faith as we have always done. This week we have also made it clear to them that if there is no collaborative arrangement for the airport’s future due to their unreasonable closure timescale, the council is prepared to initiate the process for a Compulsory Purchase Order of the airport and investigate if we can go to the courts for a Judicial Review of Peel’s decision to close.

26 September 2022 - An Update from Mayor Ros Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

"I am absolutely dismayed and disappointed by Peel’s announcement today.

“Despite a realistic offer of a financial lifeline from the public sector and support from national government to keep the airport open and operational whilst a new owner/operator is secured, the airport owners have said it is their decision to close.

“This reasonable offer would have created greater certainty for staff, the airport and the aviation industry at a time of economic stress. Our concerted efforts have found several significant and seriously interested parties in the airport which wanted to be part of its future.

“Peel’s decision and their wholly reluctant approach throughout the last 10 weeks has been completely uncompromising and unreasonable. It is now clear that Peel was never seriously interested in looking at the opportunities offered to them which have been developed at pace and in good faith, preferring to close the airport and seek to develop the land for other uses which could generate greater commercial value for them and their shareholders.

“I would urge Peel that it is not too late to do the right thing and reconsider their decision for the sake of those employees, businesses and communities directly impacted by this appalling decision.

“If Peel is determined to follow this course of action then our immediate focus must be on supporting those 2,700 plus employees, staff, residents and businesses within Doncaster and beyond whose futures are now in jeopardy as a result of their actions.”

12 September 2022 - An Update from Mayor Ros Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Following the sad passing of HM Queen Elizabeth we are in a period of national mourning and reflection and we are mindful of the public sector supporting the country at this time. Our work to secure the successful future or Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has been affected obviously at this difficult time given our focus on the passing of HM the Queen and the accession of the new King.

I do want to however update on where our progress has taken us before the sad news. Public and private sector stakeholders in South Yorkshire have been working tirelessly to find a way forward that ensures a positive future for a fully operational DSA.

It is estimated that DSA supports over 2,700 jobs in the wider economy and contributes over £100 million per year to the local and regional economy – that is a staggering £1bn in the next decade.  The closure of DSA would have an immediate effect on employment and the economic future of Doncaster and South Yorkshire at a time when our economy is beset by challenges on inflation, energy costs and economic confidence following the COVID pandemic. It is for these reasons that public and private stakeholders, with cross-party support from our local and regional political leaders, have asked DSA and Peel Group to reconsider its position on the airport’s future.

In negotiation meetings between Peel, Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. Peel stated their criteria that they would expect to be met by any potential investor, purchaser or operator of DSA.

Although these criteria are very restrictive, we have held over 50 conversations with UK, EU and Worldwide investors ensuring we left no stone unturned in the search for additional and/or alternative investors to secure the long-term sustainability of DSA.

We acknowledge that the market conditions are currently challenging but we are pleased to report that there is strong market interest in DSA. Whilst we continue discussions in principle with several parties, we have one group that we believe is an extremely serious proposition.

Our Chief Executive and senior officers have been leading on the work to save DSA, alongside the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

There is a significant amount of risk, let’s be perfectly honest, it is almost impossible to sell a house in less than a week, so we asked Peel to give us the time, to work with this serious potential proposition, to undertake the necessary due diligence as we endeavour to save and secure the long-term future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The official mourning period will run until Tuesday September 20th, I ask that Peel work with us during this period.

I am grateful that Peel have today announced that the consultation period is to be extended until 26th September.

26 August 2022 - An update from Mayor Ros Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

I believe there is a great deal of untapped potential at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and that it can have a bright, successful and profitable future.

I fully agree with what people are telling me, that they want to see our airport kept open, offering reasonably priced travel to a range of destinations that they and their family and friends can use. Through their strategic review Peel have told us they do not believe the airport is viable in its current form. However they have also told us they have not received any tangible approaches from operators or investors directly to them so I believe we should try to make this happen.

That is why Doncaster Council   and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority   are actively seeking and engaging with potential investors and operators who share our optimism.

I want to offer some confidence to the market and to the people of Doncaster and South Yorkshire because I see the public sector continuing to broker the future prosperity of the airport and wider Gateway East development in both the short and long-term. This could take a number of forms depending on the options that come forward. I look forward to continued productive, swift and purposeful engagement with interested parties.

24 August 2022 - An update from Mayor Ros Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Essentially we have been given three more weeks to set out to Peel why Doncaster Sheffield Airport should have a future life in the city and wider South Yorkshire region. I would have wanted more time as this is a complex issue however I am grateful that our request has been listened to.

Senior officers from Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority are working at pace and with intent to analyse all options to try and secure its future and save our airport.

I believe there is considerable potential at DSA and has the capacity and connectivity to be the number one airport in Yorkshire and the North-East.

5 August 2022 - An update from Mayor Ros Jones and Mayor Oliver Coppard on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Statement from Doncaster Council Mayor Ros Jones and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Mayor Oliver Coppard.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) owners, The Peel Group has confirmed in a meeting with senior officers from both Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and Doncaster Chamber of Commerce – that they will look at all options to keep the airport open. They would be willing to consider a range of options that could result in the maintenance of aviation operations on the site. There is a mutual recognition that the airport and wider Gateway East site are inextricably linked, and all viable options are still on the table for discussion, including the sale to another owner/operator. 

Each of the options will now be further investigated within the extremely tight consultation period Peel has set for its strategic review, with an acknowledgement that this may need to be extended. The urgency of this work cannot be underestimated and will be conducted at pace and commitment by Doncaster Council and the SYMCA. We have mobilised a number of groups including a business advisory board and our region’s MPs. We are now working closely with the Department for Transport and have jointly commissioned an economic impact assessment alongside our private sector partners to inform the best possible outcome for Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Doncaster and South Yorkshire. The region is also working with Government as we look for support with this nationally significant airport.

Our work continues and we will provide updates when they are available. Thank you to everyone who came along to the recent public meeting to ask questions and share ideas, and to those who have supported our efforts to see DSA continue as an aviation operation in Doncaster. We want to see the airport remain open.

26 July 2022 - DSA Update

Statement from Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Authority on Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

“Following an initial discussion last week, today (Monday July 25th) officers from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Doncaster Council met with representatives from Peel Group to discuss the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

“The meeting was positive and productive. All parties are approaching this with urgency and commitment and will hold further discussions over the coming days and weeks. Work will now be undertaken at pace to develop all workable options for the airport operations and site that benefits the wider region.

“In the meantime there is a lot of work to be done to look consider these options with scrutiny and in detail.  We are giving our officers the time and space to work with Peel to do this." 

18 July 2022 - Joint statement from South Yorkshire Leaders

Doncaster Sheffield Airport is crucial to South Yorkshire’s economy. It supports thousands of jobs, attracts inward investment, supports trade, and connects South Yorkshire internationally.

The aviation industry has suffered in recent years due to the changes brought about by Brexit and the continuing impact of Covid-19. However, working with the owners of the site, operators, and government, we are committed to not only finding a means to save DSA but to establish it as a thriving airport at the forefront of South Yorkshire’s future.

To do that, we need the airport’s owners – Peel Group – to work with us, to realise the evident potential of a facility with a passenger catchment of millions.

To date, the Mayoral Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership and our local authorities have invested millions in the airport and the surrounding Gateway East Development, and we have been working with government to further develop the airport’s rail connectivity. As well as loans totalling £8m, we have been in discussions about a further £20m loan to support the continued development of DSA. We are clear in our ambition about aviation’s place in our region. The closure of the airport would also risk limiting the potential for investment and development at Gateway East.

Within that context, Peel’s approach to engagement with our region’s political leadership has been disappointing. We now need them to both match our level of ambition for the site and engage with us to bring about the boost in passenger numbers we all want to see. We will be speaking directly to the Group’s Board and senior leadership team as a matter of urgency and we are committed to working with them to ensure the future of DSA, or finding an alternative private sector operator who can unlock its potential.

There is also a role for Government. Following recent announcements from South Yorkshire’s bus companies, and the cancellation of rail services to both Leeds and Manchester, the government must now work with us to save our region’s airport.

If this government are serious about levelling up and committed to the promises made, both to the communities of South Yorkshire and the whole of the UK, now is their opportunity to demonstrate that commitment.

DSA features in the government’s Flightpath to the Future plan, in which they commit their support to regional airports. In their own words, “Ensuring this network is supported is key to achieving the positive economic outcomes the Government is determined to deliver for the whole of the UK.” We wholeheartedly agree and want to work with them to deliver on that vision that we work every day to deliver; a prosperous South Yorkshire at the heart of a global Great Britain.

Oliver Coppard, South Yorkshire’s Mayor

Councillor Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster

Councillor Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council

Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council

14 July 2022 - A statement from Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing and Business Glyn Jones on Doncaster Sheffield Airport

"Yesterday Peel Group announced that the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport is under review. 

"This is very disappointing news and I am saddened to hear that the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport is under review by its owner The Peel Group. The airport is a major asset to Doncaster and the wider region and I am urging that all avenues to make it viable commercially are fully investigated.  

"DSA is the best airport in Yorkshire, the best connected by road and hopefully soon to be by rail, it also has one of the longest runways in the country. 

"I’m sure all council will be concerned about this development and like myself, Mayor Ros Jones and Cabinet, would want to see the airport as part of our future. We are actively engaging with airport owners, our MPs and South Yorkshire Mayor and making it clear our position in wanting an airport in Doncaster and for the benefit of the wider region. The loss of aviation services could have an impact on wider investment into both the Airport and Gateway East development.

"I encourage everyone to rally behind efforts to safeguard our aviation industry in Doncaster and I ask our MPs and the Mayor of South Yorkshire to do all the lobbying they can with government. What we need from government is a long term funding package to support the airport in the medium term."



















Last updated: 13 May 2024 13:21:30

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