Doncaster Sheffield Airport unveils new vision and 20-year masterplan to create 'airport city'
Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has launched its vision and masterplan which outlines the expected growth over the next twenty years.
The vision details the airport’s full potential, delivering international connectivity and the economic benefit to Yorkshire, as well as the surrounding regions and the UK as a whole.
The vision sees the creation of a Aerotropolis in the Sheffield City Region with the airport’s 1600-acre site, known as Aero Centre Yorkshire, becoming a central hub.
The ‘airport city’ would create 73,000 new jobs for the Sheffield City Region and provide advanced manufacturing, logistics and aviation-led opportunities. It is anticipated that the vision would deliver £3.2bn GVA per year by 2048 across the region.
DSA has said that a major component of the vision is the addition of an airport rail station connected to the East Coast Mainline. Requiring seven miles of new track, it could be open in five years’ time.
The station would provide a direct rail link to London and Newcastle in under 90 minutes travel time. It would also be connected to regional centres such as Sheffield, Leeds and Hull.
The station would serve the airport’s passengers, onsite workers, new housing and employment areas – an estimated 1.6 million people per year, by 2037. Additionally, the rail station would accelerate the development of housing in the immediate vicinity and surrounding areas, with an initial delivery of over 8,500 houses anticipated.
Regional tourism would be also boosted, not only by an expanded airport, but with the expansion and construction of major attractions close to the airport.
The vision highlights the airport’s cargo plans in line with the increased passenger growth, as the site has the ability to handle up to 250,000 tonnes of cargo per year.
The airport’s masterplan detailing the future development of the current site and projected growth over the next 20 years will now go out for public consultation. The airport is forecasting 4.7 million passengers and 70,000 tonnes per year over 20 years.
Should a rail station be open by 2024, the expected passenger numbers would more than double to 11.8 million by 2050.
Robert Hough CBE, chairman of Peel Airports, said: “This is a Vision with a central pillar that delivers air connectivity, new housing, highly skilled employment, tourism and better rail connectivity at exceptional value for money, it is straightforward to build and deliverable in 5 years.
“It is of national significance for aviation and the economy, particularly the North, and we want to see it realised as soon as possible. This is required beyond what Heathrow expansion will deliver, with a range of benefits for the North and East of the country.”
Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, added: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a superbly located international gateway to the north. It is already experiencing significant growth, driving job creation and delivering new economic activity.
“Most importantly, it has huge additional potential and can play a major role in the future transport and economic ambitions of the north as set out in its Vision and Masterplan.”
Nigel Brewster, vice-chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), also commented: “I would urge residents, businesses, and politicians from all parties to get behind these ambitious yet deliverable plans for our airport, which include connecting it with the East Coast Mainline. Doncaster Sheffield Airport and its partners has a clear aim in mind and tangible plans in place to make it a reality.
“Doncaster Sheffield Airport is central to the city region achieving its economic plan of 70,000 additional jobs, an additional 3.1bn GVA and 6,000 new businesses. We have always seen growth of the airport as being a key priority, but no one ‘actor’ can make this growth happen. We must come together with Peel, Doncaster Council, and Transport for the North - and the city region must also do our own part through investment in local transport infrastructure.”
Jonathan Spruce, strategy director, transport for the North, said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s Vision would see it unlock significant passenger and cargo capacity and could create a major economic cluster, supporting the transformation of the North of England economy.
“We are currently consulting on our draft Strategic Transport Plan for the North which identifies DSA as a key economic centre and we recognise the need for enhanced rail access to DSA.”