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.