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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
New airport gets the go-ahead
RAF Finningley aerial shot
Up to 2 million passengers will use the airport
Plans to build a new 80m international airport in Yorkshire, creating up to 7,000 jobs, have been approved by the government.

Developers Peel Airports will transform the former RAF Finningley site on the outskirts of Doncaster into a commercial airport transporting up to 2m passengers a year.

Airlines are expected to operate flights to major European destinations, although the runway is also long enough to cater for long-haul.

The decision follows a drawn-out public inquiry which lasted for more than a year, with objectors concerned about noise, pollution and environmental impact.

Robert Hough, chairman of Peel Airports, which also run Liverpool Airport, said: "The Finningley site is a national asset and will play a key role in the regeneration of South Yorkshire, a European Union Objective One area.

Chairman of Peel Airports, Robert Hough
Robert Hough: The airport is a national asset

"We now can look forward to bringing economic benefits to the region through the development of the airport, which will be vital to determining where future economic activity will be."

David Marlow, chief executive of Doncaster Council, said: "Doncaster Council has fully supported the proposal for an airport at Finningley and our faith has been justified."

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint added: "I am absolutely delighting - it's been a long campaign.

"We have finally got there and everybody that has been involved in supporting Finningley as an airport for Doncaster and South Yorkshire should be very pleased with themselves."

Increased competition

Disappointment at the government's decision has come from the owners of Manchester Airport.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is the majority shareholder in Humberside Airport and the owner of East Midlands Airport.

The group chief executive of MAG, Geoff Muirhead, said: "We are not persuaded by the case for Finningley and still believe that Yorkshire and the Humber needs more airlines, not more airports.

"However, Humberside has grown very successfully during the lifetime of the Finningley proposal adding a wealth of new routes and charter operators to its schedule.

"We are confident that Humberside will continue to blossom as a first-rate local airport serving the whole of the Humber region."

Leeds Bradford International Airport says it remains confident it is not going to suffer because of Finningley.

The airport says that recent developments - including the introduction of low cost airlines - will enable it to beat off the competition.




SEE ALSO:
TUC calls for Finningley airport
26 Nov 02  |  England


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