Doncaster Sheffield Airport facing 'appalling' closure despite lifeline offer - leaving 800 jobs at risk

South Yorkshire's mayor has said he is "devastated" by an "appalling" decision to close Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) - and has called on the owners to "do the right thing" and reconsider the move.

Oliver Coppard said the DSA had received public money for years, including through the pandemic, and an offer to continue that support had been rejected.

The Peel Group said a strategic review had drawn to a close without coming up with clear proposals on the site's financial viability or finding a potential buyer.

The owners blamed the high costs of running the airport, which employs around 800 people. It now faces closure at the end of next month.

But Mr Coppard said: "I'm devastated by today's announcement by Peel and angry about the impact it will have on our communities.

"The fact that they chose to turn our offer down simply confirms what many of us suspected: that Peel was never serious about finding an alternative and safeguarding the future of DSA.

"It is still not too late for them to do the right thing; for them to reconsider their decision for the sake of those employees, businesses and communities directly impacted by this appalling decision."

The Labour mayor said the next step would be to ask the government to step in and keep the airport open.

Peel said it had received a letter from the mayor's office earlier this month, saying a group interested in buying the airport had come forward - but the firm had not received any more details about this potential purchaser.

It also said it had been offered public funds to cover its operating losses until the end of October 2023, keeping it open while a new owner is found.

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But Peel said that would be an inappropriate way to spend public money "against the backdrop of an unviable, loss-making operating business".

Steven Underwood, Peel Group chief executive, said: "We will not accept any public sector grant to cover the costs of an airport that is not viable due to its lack of adequate forward revenues and high operating costs."

The airport opened in 2005 after it was converted by Peel from the old RAF Finningley airbase.