Doncaster Sheffield Airport plans to compete with major rivals such as Manchester airport by opening a train station that will speed up its links with the South-East.
The airport hopes the Government will support its plans for a new railway station, which would mean that travellers from London King’s Cross could arrive at the airport in about 90 minutes.
The airport’s bosses say the planned station would ease congestion on cross-London rail routes by encouraging more people to fly from the relatively quiet airspace above Doncaster Sheffield.
A report about the airport’s future – The Vision for Transformational Growth – says: “Government support for these proposals would demonstrate a strategic and better balanced approach to the provision of future air capacity for the long term.”
The airport, which is owned by Peel Group, said that initial estimates suggested it could cost between £100m and £150m to re-align the nearby East Coast main line and create a station by the airport.
It plans to develop the scheme in partnership with the public sector.
The airport is calling on the Government to recognise the role Doncaster Sheffield can play in helping to boost the UK’s air capacity in the forthcoming Aviation National Policy Statement.
It also wants the Government to include the re-alignment of the East Coast main line, and the provision of a new railway station at the airport, in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
Steve Gill, the chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “Our aim is to respond to future travel demands by providing a global reach for leisure, business and freight customers.”
Dan Fell, CEO of Doncaster Chamber said: “I think it’s incredibly exciting, it shows the scale of ambition from the airport and their owners Peel. But, it shows the scale of ambition they’ve got not just for the airport itself but for the region and the airport as an economic asset that supports business growth in the area.
“I think it’s very realistic - you go back to the early days, when the airport was first mooted, there was scepticism and it’s there now.
“Then with the link road to the airport that was also treated with scepticism, but it’s there now and adding tremendous value to the region. I think this is a scheme that’s very deliverable.
“This is a great chance for the Government to prove they are serious about reducing that North South divide and supporting a Northern Powerhouse.
“Inevitably with these things, it is complex because you need the connectivity to the airport, you need a good calibre airport and great customer service, which they’ve got there, you need the flights - but, the operator needs to see the economic case for putting those flights on.
“What things like this will do is reassure operators that there is serious appetite to grow the airport, there is a wish to invest in it and there are plans afoot to increase the catchment area - that helps people make decisions to base aircrafts there and put those routes on.
He added: “It’s important to remember that the airport is a regional asset, not just a Doncaster asset, so from a connectivity point of view if we have an airport which is serving five, ten or twenty million passengers a year that means there are going to be more routes available.
“More importantly, the Chamber sees the airport as a key economic asset and that means it can support international trade, export and logistics. It’s also a big driver of inward investment in to the area which means more jobs and wealth for everyone.”