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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 17:42 GMT
Heliport plan set for take-off
Sheffield City Airport
Airport chiefs hope their new plans will take off
Bosses at Sheffield City Airport are hoping their business will take off again with the evolution of the site into a heliport.

Since commercial flights at the South Yorkshire airport stopped in late 2001, plans have been considered to make use of the site.

Now a planning application has been put in to the city council with the aim of running a heliport.

Under the proposals, the site would be called Sheffield City Airport and Heliport to reflect the change in emphasis.

Helicopter services

Airport director David Ryall has outlined plans to focus their business on a number of operators currently at the site and run commercial helicopter services to other centres in the north of England.

He believes that with Manchester only 20 minutes away by helicopter and Liverpool's John Lennon airport less than an hour's flying time there will be a ready supply of customers.

Nigel Tomlinson, the chief executive of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "I am encouraged by the prospect of helicopter connections from Sheffield.

"For Sheffield to be linked to major international airports would be a godsend."

John Mothersole, executive director of Sheffield City Council's development, environment and leisure department, said: "Clearly, scheduled commercial flights have gone, but we are very supportive of the new niche that has opened up around leisure and business aviation.

"Notwithstanding all the future permissions that need to be acquired, we are working closely with the airport and pushing them hard to ensure that helicopter services are put into place, that will prove to be an asset to businesses in Sheffield."

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