Passenger numbers at Doncaster Airport have plummeted – while other airports in the region continued to fly high.
The Federation of Small Businesses is calling for a public inquiry for Sheffield’s City Airport to be reopened after being unimpressed with Robin Hood Airport’s latest passenger figures.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, passenger numbers fell to 67,072 in May – down 0.7 per cent on the same month last year.
The number of flights taking off also dipped in May to 420 – 3.2 per cent lower than the same month last year.
And the year-end figures for 2012 show 693,000 passengers used the airport – down 16 per cent on 2011.
But at Leeds-Bradford Airport, passenger numbers in May were up 19.6 per cent up on last year.
Passenger numbers also rose at Manchester Airport by 10.7 per cent, and by 8.9 per cent at East Midlands.
FSB regional chairman Gordon Millward said: “Robin Hood Airport only offers flights to holiday destinations and a number of cities in Poland and Lithuania.
“No services to recognised business destinations are available. But even the services to holiday destinations are showing a significant annual decline.
“Despite suggestions the recession is to blame for Robin Hood’s woes, Civil Aviation Authority data indicates traffic at other airports in the region has actually risen.
“Once again we are calling for a public inquiry into the potential for Sheffield’s City Airport to be reopened, so that Sheffield can be reconnected with major European business centres.”
But Robin Hood bosses said the future is looking bright thanks to the FARRRS link road, which will cut journey times from Sheffield to around 25 minutes.
Steve Gill, managing director of Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, said: “A year-on-year comparison does show a slight drop in figures for Doncaster Sheffield Airport, but we expect to grow over the current financial year.
“On a positive note May 2013 demonstrated month-on-month growth of over 4.5 per cent.
“It is an exciting time for us with the FARRRS link road development edging closer.
“We are delighted by the region’s desire for the need for business routes to support the Sheffield City Region’s companies, as this gives us a real target for growth which will be assisted greatly by the new road.”
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