Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) is pleased to be involved in the Great Northern Conference and to be contributing to the crucial debate on how we best focus on rebuilding the economy and developing opportunities across the North of England in a sustainable way, particularly given the unprecedented events of the past six months.
Airports are more than a base for transport – they provide a hub for economic growth and at DSA we recognise that skills, education, communities, business and investment are all essential strands of the social and economic fabric of our region, delivering a significant contribution that helps deliver the aspirations of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
DSA already supports around 1,000 jobs and generates over £60m GVA per year for the Sheffield City Region economy and our 20-year Masterplan outlines our aspirations to grow and develop further. The plan may have been written pre-Covid, but our determination has not waivered.
Over the last six months, DSA has demonstrated its tenacity exceeding expectations in cargo operations through supporting the transportation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS frontline, resulting in an increase of 45% over March and April compared with the same period last year – an exceptional result given this year’s challenges.
In August, Wizz Air announced that it had selected DSA as its second UK base, adding two aircraft and a further 13 routes to its schedule from the airport, including a mix of leisure and business destinations. It’s a pleasure to welcome Europe’s greenest airline to the region with a base, following a strong 15-year partnership with DSA and I’m thrilled that Wizz Air have identified the airport’s potential.
A crucial part of future growth for the Airport, and the region, is the GatewayEast development. Anchored by Doncaster Sheffield Airport, GatewayEast will provide over 11m sq. ft of existing property and new development opportunities across a 1,600-acre site. The £1.7 billion shovel-ready project will provide opportunities for investment and create around 5,000 new jobs in the next five years, as well as about 3,000 new homes for Doncaster.
We want to build, not just a vibrant DSA in terms of passengers and freight, but also an economic hub, creating a cluster of activity and forward-looking sectors around specialised engineering, manufacturing, aviation, energy and importantly working with the universities … building on the success of the Sheffield City Region’s Global Innovation Corridor concept and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.