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Passenger numbers are soaring at Doncaster Sheffield Airport!

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Page last updated: 7th Jul 2017 - 12:41 PM

Labelled the new fastest growing airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport has recently seen an increasing level of passenger growth, with over 1m passengers using the airport across the country. The CAA (The Civil Aviation Authority) have released figures that prove Doncaster Sheffield has seen a 43.1% growth in passenger numbers (1.3m) between April 2016 and March 2017.

Chris Harcombe, head of aviation development at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “This is fantastic news and we are thrilled to once again have the status of the fastest growing airport, with over 1m passengers, in the country. It is great to see so many people supporting our development by choosing to fly local.

“Passengers have over 40 routes on offer to them from our airport and access to the airport is now so easy thanks to the motorway link road opening.

“Early last year we announced a new partnership with Flybe which has brought more low cost flights to the airport and provided access to European hubs including Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin and Paris and popular leisure routes including Alicante, Malaga, Faro and Palma.
“We are extremely proud of the service we offer at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and have invested in our terminal, in our products and in our team to ensure that we can continue to offer high standards of customer service.”

Doncaster Sheffield works in partnership with airlines including Thomson, Wizz Air and Flybe who provides both business and leisure routes for travellers. The Airport’s most popular destinations include Katowice, Gdańsk, Alicante and Poznan.

But the good news doesn't stop there for Doncaster Sheffield Airport. 2016 was also their busiest year for cargo. It saw a 113% increase on 2015’s figures transporting 9,265 tonnes of freight. This was, unsurprisingly, their largest amount since the airport opened. In fact, the increase level of freight forced DS Airport to install a dedicated cargo ramp which can deliver contents from two 747 aircrafts. Meanwhile, within the airport building, Anglo World Cargo’s (the company who operate from site) have expanded their terminal size to 28,000 sq.ft. and will further increase to 55,000 sq,ft by the end of the year to accommodate with the increase demand.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Doncaster Sheffield Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and Airport Guides on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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New airport rail link for Doncaster Sheffield Airport

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Page last updated: 20th Dec 2016 - 11:43 AM

Doncaster Airport has revealed that building a rail link at the site is a huge focus of theirs as part of their 20-year extension plan. As highlighted by Steve Gill managing director of the airport, a new rail link would significantly increase the sites’s catchment area. In the same comments, he also admitted that the plans were in an early stage while detailed proposals would be revealed later on in January. Doncaster Council who are in approval of the plans, have agreed to talk with Network Rail in 2017.

The Proposal would require a 4 mile diversion to the original route which travels between London and Scotland railway lines, running only a mile away from the airport.
Mr Gill added: "It is an exciting opportunity to transform what is a growing regional airport into a major international gateway.

"We are always talking to airlines but what they want to see is the enrichment of the catchment.

"With something like the East Coast mainline plugged in you get to a lot more people a lot more quickly and that has its attractions to the airlines."

Neil Firth, head of major projects and investment at Doncaster Council, said informal talks about the viability of the scheme had taken place with Network Rail.

"The east coast mainline diversion into the airport, with the regional connectivity that gives, is the best option," he said.

The airport (smaller of the 2 main Yorkshire Airports), which was formally know as Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, saw 857,109 passengers pass through its doors in 2015 and its 2 busiest routes both travel to Polish cities;, Katowice and Gdańsk.
No firm cost for realigning the route into the airport site has been given but Mr Firth said initial estimates suggested a cost of "around £100m".

"Compared to big infrastructure projects and the outputs it could deliver it is quite a modest sum," he added.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Edinburgh Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Increasing passenger numbers for Robin Hood Airport!

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Page last updated: 20th Sep 2016 - 03:10 PM

August saw a record breaking month for Robin Hood Airport with 145,000 passengers flying from the former RAF station. The great achievement is amplified by the fact that over a million people have now flown from the airport over the past 12 months, much of this credit is due to the addition of many new destinations courtesy of budget airline Flybe. Dublin and Dusseldorf are to be added from the 30th October following the successful addition of destinations such as Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam at the beginning of this year.

Steve Gill, Chief Executive of Robin Hood Airport said: "This is fantastic news, we've had our busiest August ever and the number of people travelling from Doncaster Sheffield Airport is continuing to rise. This summer has seen us notch up a number of record breaking months.

"The improved accessibility of the airport, thanks to the Great Yorkshire Way link road from Junction 3 of the M18, and the 11 new destinations on offer with Flybe, has significantly expanded our offer to people across the region.

"I strongly believe that an ambitious region such as ours needs a thriving airport and with the continued support of the region, we can achieve even more.

"Leisure passengers have really started to embrace Robin Hood Airport as their local airport and are showing their support by travelling from here whenever possible.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Robin Hood Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Without a minute to rest after opening the the Great Yorkshire Way link road, Doncaster Sheffield Airport has named Welcome to Yorkshire as the official 2016 airport partner! Both of the organisations have great plans for the future of the local community and are looking to attract a higher level of leisure and tourism to the area.

The managing director of Doncaster Sheffield Airport Steve Gill said: “This is fantastic news for the region and we are delighted to be working with Welcome to Yorkshire.

“Doncaster Sheffield Airport is currently the fastest growing airport in the UK with flights to over 30 destinations, seeing 18% growth in passenger numbers and a record year for cargo in 2015.

“This partnership will see us working closely with Welcome to Yorkshire to firmly place the airport in people’s minds when they are looking to travel and to work on attracting visitors to our region.”

The newly implemented Great Yorkshire Way, which begins at junction 3 of the M18 to Parrots Corner and is a major link road has been created to greatly reduce the duration time of travel to Robin Hood Airport. Furthermore, the constant improvement does not stop there for the airport! Flybe, who were awarded Yorkshire’s official airline partner for the year, are due to launch 8 new routes from the airport.

Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity said:
“I’m very excited about this partnership between Welcome to Yorkshire, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Flybe. Their strong offer to people living in and visiting Yorkshire is about to get even better and we’re delighted to be working with them as they enter this exciting new phase of growth.
“We share the belief that Yorkshire is a great place to visit and do business and I hope that we will see even more people making use of Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s excellent facilities and travelling on some of Flybe’s fantastic new routes.”

Want to keep up to date with all of the Doncaster Sheffield Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Exciting year ahead for Robin Hood Airport

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Page last updated: 19th Feb 2015 - 12:32 PM

Robin Hood Airport is excited for the future after new figures released show that their amount of passengers flying through the airport have increased by 5%.

2014 saw new routes introduced to a greater variety of destinations, and it currently has popular routes to Alicante, Warsaw, and Palma De Mallorca, with a new route to Zante being added in 2015.

With such positive figures from last year, there is high hopes for 2015 to be a really exciting year for Robin Hood. The airport is finding great support from people wanting to support the local economy by flying from a nearby airport, and now that accessibility is improved and a greater choice of destinations are available more and more people will hopefully choose to fly from their regional airport and support its continuing growth.

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Small is beautiful

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Page last updated: 9th Sep 2013 - 04:20 PM

As you stand in a huge queue at the check-in desk, are herded through airport security and then have to brave a scrum at the boarding gate, you may well feel that if cattle were to take to the air they would be treated better than people, and it seems that you are not alone. Never has the saying “small is beautiful” been more apposite than when it comes to airports.

Barely a week goes by without some of the larger airports hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons, especially in the height of the summer. Now research carried out by Which? Travel magazine shows that passengers are far happier with their experience at small regional airports than at the larger hubs.

Topping the poll was Southend airport with a satisfaction rating of 84%. Easyjet switched many of its Stansted flights to Southend in 2012 and, as a result, the Essex airport now handles over 700,000 passengers a year with a predicted 2 million by 2020. It is only to be hoped that it does not become a victim of its own success.

Also scoring highly in the customer satisfaction survey were other local airports such as Humberside, Robin Hood Doncaster, London City, Southampton and Blackpool, all of which scored between 74% and 81%.

The only major-league players to appear in the top 10 were Newcastle International, Birmingham Terminal 1 and London Heathrow Terminal 5, all of which scored between 66% and 69%. Whilst the relatively new Terminal 5 at Heathrow may have got a thumbs-up from its users, the older Terminals 2 and 3 only managed to score 45% and 46% respectively. Also performing badly was Luton airport with only 43%.

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Doncaster's dreams come true

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Page last updated: 5th May 2011 - 12:27 PM

An important link road between Doncaster Robin Hood Airport and the M18 motorway could enter the construction phase in summer 2012, according to local newspaper, the Star. The road, better known as the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme, or FARRRS, is part of a larger campaign called the Gateway to Sheffield City Region (GSCR), which was recently awarded £18m from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

“This is tremendous news for Doncaster”, explained Peter Dale, director of regeneration in Doncaster. “(The cash boost) demonstrates the confidence the government has in Doncaster to deliver such an important scheme." However, the evidence suggests otherwise: last April, Doncaster Council was described as “failing, dysfunctional, and paralysed” by the Audit Commission, and was eventually commandeered by government ministers. The £18m sum, which is double the grant traditionally awarded to successful candidates, is likely an attempt to bring Doncaster Council, and consequently, the town, back up to par with other settlements in Yorkshire.

Financial support for the FARRRS route way is, nevertheless, a huge boon for Doncaster, and for Robin Hood Airport. Proponents say that the road could create 14,000 jobs, more than half of the total expected to be created by the GSCR scheme, and inject £1bn into the local economy. FARRRS will also make the airport more accessible to travellers arriving from Sheffield and the port town of Goole.

Nigel Brewster, President of Doncaster’s Chambers of Commerce, has urged local businesses to “capitalise” on the construction of the FARRRS road, by trading with companies overseas. Mr. Brewster has implied that the arrival of new investors and – presumably – airlines would be crucial to the success of Robin Hood Airport.

The region around the airport will not be the only area in Yorkshire to benefit from the GSCR. The £18m grant will allow councillors to reclaim the land around Rossington Colliery, which closed in 2007, and construct a ‘Strategic Rail Freight Interchange’ near the airport.

Keepmoat Homes, namesake of Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, has also been given £8m from the Regional Growth Fund to build, or refurbish, 1,500 homes in Hull.

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Airport defies expectations, posts 5% growth

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Page last updated: 31st Jan 2011 - 02:22 PM

Last year was one of the worst on record for the aviation industry; few months were left unblemished by chaos. Fog delayed flights, volcanoes blackened European skies, and the recession ate airlines at an unprecedented pace. Then, just as chief executives thought the worst was over, snow began to fall on roads, roofs, and naked trees, forcing closures at the vast majority of UK airports.

Edinburgh Airport, for example, was shut down 8 times in just over two months, while Southampton Airport is alleged to have lost almost a quarter (22%) of its festive passengers due to snow and ice. Doomsayers would have been justified in predicting a shaky start to 2011, but officials at Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport have revealed that the conditions facing the aviation industry are not as dismal as expected. The Yorkshire hub achieved growth of 5% during 2010, quite a feat for an airport that has historically struggled to stay open during clement conditions.

According to Civil Aviation Authority figures, Penzance Heliport and Scatsta Airport in the Shetlands also had a productive year, increasing annual traffic by 4.1% and 3.5% respectively. Leeds, Belfast City, Liverpool, and Bristol were the only other hubs in the UK to post growth in 2010. Plymouth Airport, on the other hand, lost almost 40% of its annual traffic, as beleaguered airline, Air Southwest, announced plans to downsize its operation at the Devon hub. Cardiff, Newquay, and Durham airports have also found themselves without enough fingers to count their losses on.

Mike Morton, chief at Robin Hood Airport, said that the traffic boost, equating to an extra 43,781 people overall, was “fantastic news” for the hub. Whether Doncaster can continue its run of good luck into 2011 is debatable, but the hub’s prospects have improved drastically since the addition of new routes to Faro, Portugal, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands, courtesy of budget airline, Ryanair. The airport claims that the two flights could lure an extra 60,000 annual travellers to the former RAF base.

Robin Hood Airport handled 37,513 passengers during December 2010 and 895,136 flyers over the whole year.

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Anger at airport housing project

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Page last updated: 27th Jan 2011 - 12:12 PM

Bosses at Robin Hood Airport have been granted planning permission to construct 750 new homes and a business park on the hub’s doorstep, according to South Yorkshire newspaper, The Star. The news comes after Doncaster Council identified the development as a ‘key’ site for industry at a meeting on January 11 2011.

With the property market still foundering in the recession’s roiling sea, choosing to spend a fortune on the construction of new properties might seem a foolhardy venture, especially as Robin Hood’s new project will be built within a few miles of the airport, where demand for housing is often meagre, at best. However, airport bosses are convinced that the housing scheme will force developers to invest in the controversial FARRRS (Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme) motorway link, as the former project cannot exist without the latter.

FARRRS, linking the airport to the M18 motorway, has been delayed and underfunded for almost as long as Doncaster Airport has been open to the public. Yet, both Doncaster Council and Peel Airports, the current owner of Robin Hood, consider the FARRRS road to be a vital part of the Yorkshire airport’s future, capable of generating around £1bn in additional income. Sadly, at least for Doncaster and Peel Airports, the government is not interested in the FARRRS project:

“The government has indicated that FARRRS will not be seen as a priority in its current spending review,” explained Andy Gutherson, assistant director of planning at Doncaster Council. The young airport, together with whatever investors it can pluck from the local area, must therefore plug an estimated £11m funding shortfall in the FARRRS project with money from its own pocket. Of course, anybody with an interest in South Yorkshire aviation (a niche subject), will know that Robin Hood Airport has a history of debt problems, making direct investment unlikely at present.

Whilst airport bosses have not commented on the total cost of Robin Hood’s housing project, or how much money can be squeezed from future residents, the project is being made a “priority” by Doncaster Council, as the absence of key transport links around the airport is causing problems for local businesses. “We struggle to get people to into work here,” said councillor, Yvonne Woodcock.

However, despite the council’s enthusiasm for the scheme, many local residents have been left confused and angry. Householders have accused Doncaster Council of "overriding" its promise to protect the rural environment, by setting a “precedent” for the construction of buildings on valuable green belt land. Equally, nearby schools, already over-subscribed with children, could face serious problems if subjected to an influx of new pupils.

On the flip side, the FARRRS road and the housing development could create thousands of new jobs, and make Doncaster Airport a target for foreign investors. There is a “real appetite” among business leaders to work with the South Yorkshire hub, according to Peel Airports’ Peter Nears.

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Animals aplenty at Robin Hood

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Page last updated: 19th Jan 2011 - 02:14 PM

Thomson Airways and Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, have been doing a brisk trade in ‘pet passports’ according to local newspaper The Star.

The airport was visited by almost 100 furry passengers in 2010, with Paphos in Cyprus proving to be the most popular holiday destination for domestic pets flying from South Yorkshire.

Robin Hood’s pet passport scheme is operated by Anglo European Express, a cargo firm based on the airport grounds. The company has a license to transport dogs, cats and ferrets that have been verified as disease-free by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, otherwise known as DEFRA.

Pets can travel to the UK’s closest neighbours – Spain, France, Italy, Germany and even Greenland – or somewhere exotic, such as Australia, Bahrain or the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

Whilst Rover and Tiddles might not appreciate the difference between a moonlit stroll down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris and a jaunt down a cracked pavement in the centre of Doncaster, the pet passport scheme helps take the heartache out of leaving a beloved family pet in kennels or, even worse, with the in-laws.

Thomson Airways claims that more than 1,600 animals were transported from six UK airports in 2010, including the 100 or so that departed from Robin Hood. The most common species of traveller was, of course, the dog, with 1,147 carried. Parrots, hawks, lemurs and nature’s slugabed, the tortoise, were also booked onto flights to Europe and beyond.

Despite the apparent popularity of pet passports, the scheme is likely to have limited appeal to holidaymakers, given the added expense of purchasing the license and the difficulty of finding pet-friendly hotels abroad. However, emigrating Brits and those lucky few with properties in warmer climes will pounce on the opportunity to throw a ball for their own disinterested feline on a white sandy beach.

For more information about pet passports, visit the Heathrow Airport Guidesl Pet Travel Guide.

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'Lethal haul' seized at Doncaster

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Page last updated: 8th Dec 2010 - 12:07 PM

Whilst most travellers like to buy souvenirs, an increasing number of holidaymakers are choosing to eschew the traditional straw donkeys, snow globes, and miniature Eiffel Towers, to bring something a little more unusual home for their grandmother – illegal weapons.

Following on from a recent arrest at Bristol Airport in November, in which a 20-year-old man was captured trying to smuggle ten weapons through security, police at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, have revealed that more than 100 different weapons have been taken from travellers at the South Yorkshire hub in 2010.

The “lethal haul,” to quote local newspaper, The Star, included items such as samurai swords, CS (or ‘tear’) gas canisters, imitation guns, and knuckledusters. The majority of the items originated in seven European resorts served by Robin Hood: notably, Prague in the Czech Republic, the Balearic Island of Ibiza, and Dalaman, Turkey.

Police say that the weapons were seized as part of a major crackdown on smuggling at Doncaster Airport. In one arrest, earlier this year, a mother and her son were collared trying to take 14 weapons through security. The pair had recently disembarked a flight from Bourgas, Bulgaria.

Despite this article’s rather facetious opening paragraph, many smugglers do regard the weapons as souvenirs, or so they claim. Liam Dimond, for example, the man arrested at Bristol Airport in November, told police that the stun gun and throwing stars in his suitcase were decorations, destined for his bedroom wall.

Speaking about the weapons seized at Doncaster, Andy Lumb, boss at the UK Border Agency in Yorkshire, said that knives and guns are not “holiday trinkets or souvenirs,” noting the potential for “serious injury or even death” to the culprit or his or her enemies. “Let this crackdown be a warning to potential smugglers,” Lumb said.

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Lithuania and Lanzarote from Doncaster

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Page last updated: 12th Nov 2010 - 01:15 PM

Robin Hood Airport has two more flights to sell to local ‘sun and sea’ enthusiasts, thanks to the efforts of Hungarian airline, WizzAir, and the UK’s third largest carrier, Thomson Airways. The pair already has a strong presence at the South Yorkshire hub, offering around thirty routes between them.

WizzAir, sporting livery that would make easyJet tremble, provides all of Robin Hood’s routes to Poland, which makes the carrier’s new flight to Lithuania’s capital city, Vilnius, seem like an innovation. The airline has claimed Vilnius International Airport as its latest continental base, and will connect the Lithuanian hub to Doncaster on April 17 2011.

“We are pleased to announce that Yorkshire’s first service to the Baltic States will be flying from Doncaster,” Robin Hood chief, Nick Smillie, said. Nick expects WizzAir’s new route to attract an extra 30,000 people a year to the airport.

Thomson, arguably the largest airline at Doncaster, offering 24 routes to holiday hotspots, will add a new route of its own in November 2010, to the Canary Island of Lanzarote. The flight will operate once a week for the duration of the winter season.

Lanzarote is one of nine routes to the Spanish mainland and islands offered by Thomson at Robin Hood Airport. The airline shares its domination of the local market with its sister company, First Choice, which offers package holidays to much the same locations. Nick Smillie noted that the Lanzarote route, the airport’s second, was added due to "great customer support and demand."

First Choice, purveyor of all sorts of holidays, has pounced on Thomson’s new route, by advertising a seven night stay at the Holiday Village near the idyllic Flamingo Beach, Lanzarote. The package is all-inclusive, and includes return flights to Doncaster Airport. Prices begin at £399 per person.

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Robin Hood dumped by EasyJet

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Page last updated: 24th Sep 2010 - 01:27 PM

EasyJet, is to abandon all flights out of Robin Hood Airport from January 4 2011.

Nick Smillie, the Yorkshire hub’s sales director, noted that a number of "operational restrictions" had contributed to easyJet’s sudden exodus, just four months into its residency, including a number of awkward take-off times, due to aircraft being stationed at other airports.

EasyJet is the second major airline to end operations at Robin Hood, after bitter rival, Ryanair, announced a cull of all winter flights from the airport in August 2009.

The move could result in the loss of 23 routes from Doncaster, including lucrative flights to Amsterdam in Holland, Faro in Portugal, Palma in Majorca, Barcelona in Spain, and Prague in the Czech Republic.

Airport bosses claim that easyJet’s routes to ‘sun and sea’ destinations were flying at 99% capacity, suggesting that the airline’s impending escape is not financially motivated.

Robin Hood will now need to pester other airlines into covering some of the cancelled flights, to prevent valid tickets going to waste.

Whilst not unheard of – easyJet and Flybe recently saved travellers stranded when Ryanair withdrew services at Belfast City – the Doncaster hub will need to move quickly if it is to secure replacements before the winter lull.

A lone aircraft will be transferred from Robin Hood to Liverpool in January, ending easyJet’s brief liaison with South Yorkshire. The carrier’s employees will also be sent to other UK airports, such as Gatwick, and easyJet’s spiritual home, Luton.

Nick Smillie was unhappy with the loss of easyJet’s routes, “We are naturally very disappointed. We were really proud of getting a big-name carrier. We cannot deny this is a setback."

Local newspaper, the Free Press, called the news a "massive blow" for the Doncaster hub.

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Filming begins at Doncaster-Sheffield

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Page last updated: 17th Sep 2010 - 03:39 PM

Robin Hood Airport is to become the partial setting of a new TV comedy entitled ‘Come Fly with Me.’

The serial, which features David Walliams and Matt Lucas, the two men behind the popular sketch show Little Britain, is expected to be a parody of airport ‘reality’ shows such as the long-running docu-soap Airline.

Come Fly with Me consists of the traditional six episodes, featuring ‘all new’ characters played by Walliams and Lucas. The show should air on BBC One in the run-up to Christmas.

Lucas and Walliams spent a fortnight at Robin Hood in August filming scenes for their new project.

Yorkshire newspaper The Star indicates that Robin Hood will be just one of several UK hubs to feature in the program, suggesting that the airport setting featured in Walliam's and Lucas's show is fictional.

Come Fly with Me is likely to follow the format championed by Little Britain, Monty Python and The League of Gentlemen, in which a single actor can play several different roles by creating characters with clothing and make-up.

This style of comedy is notable for having few (if any) female leads, forcing men to dress as women.

Mark Freeland, the BBC’s head of comedy, was “proud and excited” to have Lucas and Walliams working with the corporation. “Also, it’ll be boom time once again for dress, wig and make-up suppliers in the UK,” he said.

A lone publicity shot on the BBC website has Walliams playing a moustachioed customs officer known as Ian, whilst his stage partner, Lucas, dons a huge beard and a bottle of fake tan for his character, Taaj.

Whether Ian and Taaj will return to Doncaster Airport in the future is currently unknown.

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Doncaster to fly cats and dogs

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Page last updated: 3rd Sep 2010 - 12:04 PM

Robin Hood Airport has become one of just six airports in the UK to issue a ‘pet passport’, allowing domestic animals to fly abroad with their owners. The scheme, which is run by local cargo firm Anglo European Express (AEE), is designed to ease the burden of having to put pets in quarantine before travel.

The scheme extends to just three types of animals, providing that they can comply with AEE’s stringent acceptance criteria. Dogs, cats, and, perhaps surprisingly, ferrets, are the only creatures that can enjoy the Pet Travel Scheme, so the nation’s cows and tarantulas will have to remain earth-bound for the time being.

Qualifying animals must be fitted with a microchip that stores their identity, and must also complete a nine-month preparation program. "Planning ahead", claims the Robin Hood website, is therefore "essential."

Pets must be immunized against rabies and attend regular booster sessions to guarantee the animal’s resistance to the virus. If Rover is not foaming at the mouth following his final check-up, a qualified Local Veterinary Inspector will issue the dog with a pet passport, valid for as long as the animal remains vaccinated against disease.

At present, the only airline that will carry pets out of Doncaster is Thomson, which means that pet-lovers can only travel to ‘sun and sea’ destinations such as Lanzarote, Alicante, and Rhodes. The budget carrier currently offers a total of 23 routes from Robin Hood, but this figure will fall to around nine when the winter season gets underway.

However, due to the thorough nature of the selection process, it is unlikely that any animal will take to the skies until the summer of next year at the very earliest.

Doncaster’s marketing chief, Jodi Stow, called the pet passport a "unique convenience" and continued to announce that the airport is “thrilled to offer pets and their owners this fantastic service. It is a huge privilege to be one of only a few airports in the UK to be offering the pet passport scheme".

For more information on the Pet Travel Scheme, you can visit this Pet Travel Guide.

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Numbers booming at Doncaster

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Page last updated: 23rd Jul 2010 - 03:01 PM

Robin Hood Airport helped more people to their holiday destinations in June 2010, than it did in the same period last year. Passenger numbers were up 16% on figures for June 2009, indicating that Doncaster finally has enough routes to coax travellers away from its larger rival, Leeds-Bradford Airport.

Flights to ‘sun and sea’ destinations were the main growth area, according to the airport’s director, Mike Morton, with routes to the city of Palma on Majorca, and Alicante in Spain, proving lucrative. Dalaman in Turkey, Faro in Portugal, and Katowice, Poland, were also popular with holidaymakers.

Robin Hood is attracting passengers from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, as well as from Yorkshire, suggesting that Doncaster is snatching customers away from East Midlands Airport and the neighbouring, Humberside Airport. The latest traffic figures show that almost 110,000 people passed through the South Yorkshire hub in June.

“This is great news,” Mike Morton explained. “People are realising how much easier it is to fly from their local airport, and are looking to us when planning their trips.” Mr. Morton noted that Doncaster is now searching for new routes for the winter season, with announcements expected in the coming weeks.

Resident airline, Thomson, has also made an effort to secure Robin Hood’s future, by boosting capacity by 15,000 on the airport’s summer holiday routes, including flights to Malaga, Spain, and the already popular Dalaman. The airline will add the extra seats in time for the 2011 summer season.

The airport claims that forward sales for next year's routes are already 'strong.'

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Extra 15,000 expected at Doncaster

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Page last updated: 11th Jun 2010 - 03:48 PM

An extra 15,000 people are expected to travel from Robin Hood’s terminal next year, after two holiday firms increased the number of seats available on six of the airport’s most popular ‘sun and sea’ routes.

Thomson] and First Choice, the two travel companies, have improved capacity by 9% on routes to Dalaman and Bodrum in Turkey, Mahon on Menorca, the Canary Island of Lanzarote, and Tunisia. Flights to Malaga in Spain are also expected to carry more passengers during the 2011 summer season.

Robin Hood, which is owned by Peel Airports, Ltd., was a local tabloid staple in 2009, following a spate of financial problems. The Doncaster hub has recovered admirably since then, however, attracting budget airline, EasyJet, and finally filling the scheduling void left by the departure of Ryanair in August last year.

The latest passenger boost is a huge vote of confidence for the Yorkshire airport, helping it contend with larger rival, Leeds-Bradford. Mike Morton, boss at Robin Hood, was ‘delighted’ with developments at the site – ‘We have been working to raise awareness of the routes we serve, and we are happy with this predicted growth looking forward.’

Robin Hood will be home to three Thomson aeroplanes next year – two Boeing 737-800s and a single 737-300, which is no longer produced anywhere in the world. Mike Morton intimated that ‘strong forward sales’ for holidays in 2010 had encouraged Thomson and First Choice to invest further in Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.

Irish carrier, Aer Lingus, has also added new routes to Robin Hood in recent months, including a daily service to Dublin, Ireland.

Related Links

Robin Hood Stung by Budget Airline

Robin Hood and the 'Seven Cities of Italy'

EasyJet to Launch Flights from Doncaster

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Robin Hood and the 'Seven Cities of Italy'

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Page last updated: 5th Feb 2010 - 02:33 PM

Robin Hood Airport has announced two brand new routes for the 2010 holiday season, with Aer Lingus Regional flying to Dublin, and Newmarket Holidays, a major British tour operator, going to Italy.

Departing from the 5th September, the Italian route serves the ‘Seven Cities of Italy’ tour, taking in the sights around Lake Garda, the largest freshwater lake in Italy, the ancient cities of Rome, Venice and Verona and much more.

Tickets are pricy, at £759 per person, but the trip includes complimentary dinner and breakfast at two three-star hotels in the north of Italy. Airport bosses noted that the Seven Cities tour is just one of a series of holidays due to be offered by Newmarket at Robin Hood.

The Dublin route is more straightforward, representing a new partnership between Robin Hood Airport and Aer Lingus Regional, a franchise consisting of elements from Aer Lingus and Aer Arran, two popular regional airlines.

Dublin had been a popular destination for Yorkshire flyers until August 2009, when Ryanair refused to pay a €10 travel levy on all flights to Ireland. The airline then deserted Robin Hood altogether, taking an important route to Barcelona with it, and blaming escalating costs for its decision.

The route to Dublin, which will commence on the 28th March, has been hailed as a “major development for Irish aviation and the tourism industry” by Aer Arran boss, Paul Schütz. Robin Hood cited continuing hard work on the part of airlines and local airport staff as being the major factor behind the route.

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Man arrested for Twitter rant

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Page last updated: 22nd Jan 2010 - 04:04 PM

An angry Twitter user who joked about blowing up Robin Hood Airport has been arrested under anti-terrorism laws.

Paul Chambers was due to fly to Ireland from the Doncaster site, but faced a flurry of delays after cold weather brought the airport to a standstill. Angry, he logged into the Twitter website, and posted:

“The airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your s**t together; otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!”

Police were unimpressed, and Mr. Chambers was later arrested for conspiring to create a bomb hoax. He was questioned for seven hours, and forced to explain the Twitter concept to officers who had “never heard of it.”

Mr. Chambers has since been released on bail, but he could still be found guilty of transmitting a bomb threat when the case goes to court in February. The ‘bomber’ has also had his iPhone, laptop, and desktop computer confiscated.

Airport security operates on a hair trigger, and all threats are taken very seriously, however preposterous or unlikely they may seem. On the 9th January, three men were also arrested at Heathrow for shouting bomb threats at attendants.

Mr. Chambers has not been banned from Robin Hood Airport, despite the murmurings of the popular press, but bosses were keen to express their continued support of anti-terrorism laws, and of recent police action.

Just this morning, a police inspector helped subdue two men on a flight from Bulgaria to Robin Hood Airport, after their drunken tirades became frightening to other passengers.

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Yorkshire weathers arctic blast

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Page last updated: 8th Jan 2010 - 01:56 PM

On Tuesday, Robin Hood joined a jumble of British airports that had been closed, or otherwise thwarted by heavy snow.

Despite offering to rescue stranded aircraft from the skies above Manchester and Leeds, Robin Hood was soon overwhelmed by the elements itself, and by mid-morning, airport bosses had no choice but to close the runway.

It hasn’t stopped snowing since, and Doncaster lies entombed beneath a good few inches of snow. Of course, with transport links down, and the M18 motorway link still festering on the drawing board, Robin Hood Airport might as well be on the moon, as far as accessibility is concerned.

The main terminal building has remained open throughout the week’s snowstorm, but the runway was kept closed until Wednesday morning, when the worst of the weather appeared to have passed. Stranded passengers from Manchester have since been relocated north by the local bus service.

Robin Hood’s story is otherwise the same as those told by other UK airports. Bosses have yet to reveal the true extent of the delays, but passengers have been warned to expect disruption, and to contact their airline for more information.

In happier news, Flybe commemorated the reopening of Robin Hood with a new flight from Doncaster to Jersey, announced this morning. Both parties are said to be delighted with the addition, which takes off in April.

After a disastrous start to 2009, Robin Hood appears to be rising above its shortcomings. Flybe is the second large airline to be tempted to the Doncaster site in recent weeks, following the arrival of EasyJet at the end of last year.

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EasyJet to launch flights from Robin Hood Airport

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Page last updated: 7th Jan 2010 - 02:02 PM

EasyJet has announced that it will soon be launching a number of new flights from Robin Hood Airport. The move is expected to prove hugely popular for travellers in the region, and will provide a real boost to the small airport as well as increasing tourism to the region.

The new flights will commence in April 2010 and will operate to five destinations each week: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Faro, Prague and Palma. These are some of the most popular destinations in Europe and airport bosses are hoping that lots of people will take advantage of the new routes.

Robin Hood Airport only started operating in April 2005, making it the newest airport in the UK. The announcement of these new flights will be a huge boost as it will help the airport to grow and develop.

The five new EasyJet flights could see the airline carry an extra 300,000 passengers in its first year alone, which would see passenger numbers at the airport increase by a third. The flights are certain to be popular due to the tempting price tags attached to them, with many of them costing just £24.99 for a one-way flight.

Mark Whitworth, the chief executive of Peel Airports, which owns Robin Hood Airport, said that EasyJet had shown confidence in the airport by the size of its commitment. He also said that the announcement confirms that the airport will be “experiencing double-digit growth in 2010”.

It is especially welcome news due to the recent decision by Ryanair to stop running its flights to Dublin from the airport, which were used by 60,000 people each year.

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See the Northern Lights - from Doncaster

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Page last updated: 30th Oct 2009 - 02:33 PM

From March 2010, intrepid flyers will be able to leave the grey streets of Doncaster behind and go in search of the Northern Lights, a spectacular phenomenon rarely seen outside the Arctic Circle.

Despite their unusual quality, the Northern Lights (otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis) are a common occurrence, created when charged particles in the Earth’s magnetic field encounter solar winds, forcing them to crash into gas atoms.

The resultant collision produces patterns of light, in a range of shapes and bright colours – green, yellow and red. Auroras occur often in the Polar Regions, where the Earth’s atmosphere is thinner, and less resistant to cosmic rays.

Created by tour operator, Omega Holidays, the Northern Lights route is designed to coincide with the March Equinox, a point in time when the aurora appears with increasing intensity, helping passengers get the most for their money.

The plane will depart from Robin Hood Airport at 9PM, travelling over Scotland to the bleak North Atlantic. Omega has made no promises about the aurora’s punctuality, however; a good twenty percent of customers may not see anything at all.

Armchair astronomers might recognise Omega’s expert of choice, the famous Pete Lawrence, a regular on the BBC’s, The Sky at Night, who will be on hand to answer any questions that customers may have.

With the festive season just around the corner, Robin Hood officials are keen to get their new toy under your Christmas tree. The three-hour flight costs in the region of £169.95, a pricey but unique stocking filler.

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Robin Hood up for sale

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Page last updated: 15th Oct 2009 - 10:48 AM

The owners of Robin Hood Airport, Peel Airport Holdings, have confirmed that up to 49% of the South Yorkshire facility could face the saleroom, in an effort to fund a number of important construction projects.

Peel is one of the largest aviation companies in the UK, claiming assets of over £4.5bn, and the keys to four major international airports – Manchester, Liverpool, Durham Tees, and Doncaster-Sheffield. Whilst a sale may help Peel construct a new terminal at Liverpool Airport, it will do nothing for Doncaster-Sheffield, forcing many investors to question the group’s commitment to the beleaguered airport.

Peel has refuted claims that the sale is in response to flagging customer numbers at Robin Hood, but unless Doncaster council can improve transport links around the facility, the airport’s future remains uncertain.

Delays to the Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS), a road that would provide a much-needed link to the M18 motorway, have exacerbated the airport’s plight, with many investors choosing to take their money elsewhere. Robin Hood Airport is simply too far away from major roads and population centres.

Following the closure of Sheffield Airport in 2008, aviation enthusiasts have come to question the financial viability of a South Yorkshire airport:

“Who is going to buy into Robin Hood Airport in the state it is in now?” Mike Moss, a Sheffield City campaigner, said, “Doncaster is losing more money than Sheffield Airport ever did. We could be left with no airport in South Yorkshire.”

On the bright side, the return of Polish airline, WizzAir, has been welcomed by airport staff. From July 2010, the carrier will begin offering two flights a week from Robin Hood to Wroclaw, Poland.

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Motorway link hits £11m roadblock

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Page last updated: 9th Oct 2009 - 02:58 PM

A road linking Robin Hood Airport to the M18 motorway hit another snag last week, after officials revealed an £11.3m shortfall in funding.

The Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme – or FARRRS for short – is one of Robin Hood’s more ambitious construction projects, designed to boost airport revenue by more than £1bn a year.

Planning disputes have kept construction crews in limbo since August 2009, and many investors are concerned about the financial viability of the scheme. Yet more planning papers will be handed to the UK Cabinet Office in the coming weeks.

Councillors are desperate to push the FARRRS project through to completion, believing it to be a cure-all panacea, a strong hand to haul Doncaster out of the recession. The road could create over 14,000 jobs in the local area.

The UK government has earmarked £1.25bn for transport schemes throughout the Yorkshire area, but there is no guarantee that the prime minister will sympathise with Robin Hood’s plight. FARRRS could remain on the drawing board until 2013.

Since its opening in 2005, Robin Hood has become a staple of local newspapers, filling column inches with sad stories and depressing tales. The airport recently announced its worst year on record, losing 30% of its passengers in just a few months.

Robin Hood needs to secure the signatures of local executives to ensure the survival of the FARRRS project.

“Dialogue with developers has taken place to secure contributions,” explained Stephen King, planner for Doncaster Council. “The certainty of contributions needs to be resolved before the business case can be submitted."

The UK Cabinet will not comment on the future of the FARRRS road until spring 2010.

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Robin Hood stung by budget airline

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Page last updated: 26th Aug 2009 - 01:48 PM

An expansion of Ryanair services at Leeds Airport could have greater implications for Robin Hood Airport than expected, after the budget airline announced plans to axe all flights from the Doncaster site.

Earlier in the month, Peel Airports, the owner of the Doncaster facility, claimed to be unconcerned by the expansion, believing that just four percent of local residents would choose Leeds Airport over Robin Hood.

Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary, blamed escalating travel costs for the cull, which saw Robin Hood lose a lucrative St. Patrick’s Day flight to Dublin, and summer routes to Barcelona.

The airline has declined to reinstate winter flights to Dublin unless the government takes steps to remove a €10 travel levy affecting all flights to Ireland. Other routes, including those to Barcelona and Alicante, are expected to return in summer 2010.

O’Leary, famed for his foul-mouthed rants, might have a difficult time convincing Peel Airports of his tight pockets, after his company added fourteen new flights to Edinburgh, and expanded operations at Leeds, Düsseldorf, and Madrid.

The news could devastate Robin Hood’s survival attempts – with a major M18 link road still incomplete, the airport stands to lose a good chunk of its customer base. Dublin was similarly affected, losing ten percent of its foreign traffic in just one month.

Nick Smillie, sales director for Robin Hood Airport, expressed his disappointment at Ryanair’s decision, but remained optimistic, drawing attention to three new TUI routes to Lanzarote, and a popular WizzAir flight to Poland.

Peel Airports has begun prospecting for a replacement flight to Dublin. As of the 25th August, the holding company has yet to find a suitor.

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Airport success hinges on motorway link

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Page last updated: 21st Aug 2009 - 03:37 PM

A controversial planning system, widely blamed for Robin Hood’s continuing woes, is due to face the firing squad, after a report revealed that the South Yorkshire facility could lose over £1bn in investment and employment opportunities.

The Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS) is an important road link capable of delivering heavy industry from the M18 motorway. As of August 2009, it remains unfinished, stuck in a strange state of limbo between the drawing board and the construction site.

According to Doncaster’s Chamber of Commerce, the completion of FARRRS would usher in a new era of prosperity for the local area, hauling Doncaster from recession, and burying fears about the viability of the Robin Hood site.

The Chamber went on to criticise government guidelines, which contribute over three thousand pages of protocol, but lack coherent frameworks for the development of critical infrastructure projects like the FARRRS route way.

“The planning process involved in a scheme of this magnitude could lay down sufficient obstacles to heavily delay or even halt the scheme” Chamber representative, Stephen Shore said.

Local investors are understandably vexed, believing the road to be an important facet of Doncaster’s future. If completed, FARRRS could provide 14,000 new jobs, and plough billions of pounds into the local economy.

Plans to construct an inland port – a huge container farm on the outskirts of Doncaster – could also be derailed by opaque planning procedures. Based in Rossington, the 180-hectare site would handle freight in cooperation with the nearby airport.

Opened in April 2005, Robin Hood Airport handles an average of one million customers a year.

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The Unknown Airport

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Page last updated: 7th Aug 2009 - 04:21 PM

Robin Hood Airport is no stranger to tumultuous skies. The young facility has endured budget cuts, sweeping redundancies, and now, as the British summertime draws to a soggy conclusion, a revelation that may crush the airport for good.

Despite filling column inches with endless crises, a recent survey has revealed that very few people are aware that Robin Hood Airport actually exists – a bitter pill to swallow for beleaguered owners, Peel Airports.

Established in April 2005, Robin Hood Airport has floundered in obscurity. The only motorway access point remains incomplete, and a Master Plan drafted in late 2008 has failed to provide the cure-all panacea that council bosses had expected. Airport officials are now pinning all their hopes on a huge leafleting campaign.

Householders in Doncaster, Hull, and Sheffield have been bombarded with promotional material – 200,000 leaflets, and 50,000 A5 booklets.

Nick Smillie, sales director at the airport, lamented the recent news: “we have worked hard over the past four years to raise the profile of the airport to both passengers and airlines.” Mr. Smillie emphasised the promotional nature of the marketing campaign, refusing to accept that local residents were unaware of the airport’s existence.

Doncaster council has pledged to improve the quality of road signage leading up to the site, but unless the airport can tempt local people away from their computer screens and the rainy weather, Robin Hood is destined to join its namesake in the history books.

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Robin Hood bosses to slash jobs

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Page last updated: 12th Nov 2008 - 04:09 PM

Bosses at Robin Hood airport have announced that under a new proposal to streamline airport operations, around nine top-level jobs may become untenable. Peel Airports, the owner of the struggling airport, wants to improve staff development opportunities whilst maintaining a steadfast approach to escalating financial woes.

The past year has not been kind to Robin Hood airport. The collapse of world markets has exacerbated an already-critical financial situation and, despite the release of a number of documents detailing prospective rescue plans, the airport continues to struggle on the brink of insolvency, unable to secure any kind of financial support from Doncaster council.

A recent survey revealed that Robin Hood airport is very popular with customers travelling for leisure reasons. The company is expected to remain in the red until 2010 but the new ski season should provide the airport with a substantial capital boost.

The recent threat of redundancy may hint at an increasingly severe financial situation. It is interesting to note that only two days after Peel Airports promised to create 17,000 new jobs over the next twenty years, the company threatened to axe a significant proportion of their operational staff.

Mike Morton, a spokesperson for Robin Hood, blamed the recent ‘credit crunch’ for the airport’s woes: “These are some of the most difficult trading conditions the aviation industry has experienced in decades.”

Robin Hood airport has been the subject of several damning newspaper reports and it seems increasingly likely that the owners are using the credit crunch as a scapegoat to avoid admitting the extent of the airport’s debts to the media.

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Plan to save airport unveiled

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Page last updated: 10th Oct 2008 - 02:10 PM

A controversial new plan to secure the future of Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport has been unveiled to local enterprise councillors. The scheme, which outlines business targets and employment opportunities for the next twenty two years, is not expected to produce any tangible results in the next decade despite growing concern about the airport’s financial viability.

Peel Holdings, the owner of Robin Hood, plan to build an aviation training centre and a new freight-integration site at the airport before 2030. Two housing estates, a golf course, and a four-star hotel have also been considered as potential solutions to the airport’s growing debt problem.

The airport is currently restricted by a noise regulation order that limits the type of aircraft that can visit the site. Major international businesses have refused to negotiate with Peel Holdings until the order is lifted. US logistical services company, FedEx, recently turned down an opportunity to base their operations at Doncaster amid fears that the airport could not properly accommodate its needs.

Peter Nears, a planning director at Peel Holdings, explained that the acquisition of freight companies is of paramount importance to the continuing survival of the Robin Hood site: “Cargo is probably the area which is most difficult for us. There are issues to do with constraints on the airport which make it unattractive to operators. We are well behind where we want to be.” Peel Holdings has applied to have the noise restrictions removed.

Thomson Holidays has handed Robin Hood another straw to clutch onto by expanding its current holiday services to include the Greek island of Kos and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. The two new routes are expected to begin accepting passengers by summer 2009.

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Robin Hood's tight pockets

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Page last updated: 25th Sep 2008 - 04:46 PM

Doncaster’s Robin Hood international airport is the second largest airport in Yorkshire but despite repeated attempts to obtain additional funds from the local council, the airport is currently facing hard times.

Robin Hood was opened in April 2005 at the expense of the decommissioned RAF Finningley airstrip. The airport was constructed as the centrepiece of a multi-million pound renovation project that saw the centre of Doncaster transformed into a haven for commerce and small businesses. Three years later and the young airport is at the centre of a great deal of controversy regarding its financial viability.

Peel Airports, the owners of Robin Hood, have been refused both tax relief and hardship funds by Doncaster council, sparking rumours that the company is unable to support prospective business and passengers. The single runway, which was originally constructed for long-range nuclear bombers, is currently running at 75% below capacity.

Doncaster’s freight and logistics sector have both ignored the airport, preferring instead to rely on traditional infrastructure and the international rail freight platform. Without the financial muscle of Doncaster’s burgeoning industrial areas, the airport suffered losses of almost £10 million in its first year. Council bosses are warning that if Peel Airports are unable to fill the coffers with their own money, their advertising budget will suffer. Perhaps more importantly, a failing business is of little value to the local government and Robin Hood may yet suffer the same fate as the nearby Sheffield City Airport, which was permanently closed earlier this year.

Robin Hood International has significant potential for expansion but unless the airport can attract an industrial cash-cow to its gates, its long-term future looks bleak.

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Robin Hood airport losing £1 m a month

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Page last updated: 23rd Jul 2008 - 05:25 PM

It was revealed last week that South Yorkshire’s Robin Hood airport is losing approximately £1 m a month with politicians being urged to lend their support.

Airport officials are blaming the losses on a series of short-term hard hitting financial obstacles such as tax, fuel and security increases. Despite the momentous losses airport business leaders have expressed confidence that it is a temporary hitch, emphasising that whilst the airport is not making any money yet it is going in the right direction.

Nick Pakey, deputy chief of the Peel Group, who own a number of the country’s major airports, explained that because of huge investments early on in the airport’s development it would not be expected that the airport would be making money at this stage. That said, however, he did add that the current financial climate has hit the business hard and that the financial situation is worse than was originally predicted.

The Peel Group has invested £100 million in developing the regional airport and with over a million passengers a year they are confident that it has the potential for further growth. Over the last three years Robin Hood has become a busy regional airport and an important asset for Doncaster, providing services to over 40 destinations around the world. The airport recently received a further £10 million in Objective One Funding which is being used to develop industrial units at the airport’s business park. In addition, three business directors have been recruited to help the airport through the financial difficulties, with two directors specifically employed to develop the airline and cargo markets.

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Robin Hood airport celebrates third birthday

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Page last updated: 7th May 2008 - 12:38 PM

Robin Hood airport in Doncaster today celebrates its third birthday, marking the success of the airport as a gateway to the region and the rest of the world. Since 2005, the airport has grown at a rapid pace and, just three years on, it now serves 50 airports around the world (compared to just 17 in 2005) and can expect to handle at least a million passengers per year. The airport serves a range of both established and upcoming holiday destinations and significantly, it is the only airport in the area which offers flights to the emerging Polish destinations of Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Katowice and Warsaw.

Formerly the base for RAF Finningley, Robin Hood airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the country, well ahead of other more established regional airports. Since opening as a commercial airport, it has been used by 2.9 million passengers with an increase of almost 13% in use over the last year.

Over the past three years, the airport has also been central in improving economic growth to Doncaster and the surrounding area. According to Nick Smillie, Sales Director based at Robin Hood, the airport “is key to attracting inward investment and tourism growth, as well as serving business and leisure travellers from the region.” He continues, “our objective now is to build on this success by delivering further growth, including more routes to popular international destinations.”

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