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.