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Last Updated: Monday, 26 April, 2004, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Work begins on Robin Hood airport
Impression of new terminal building
Robin Hood Airport will provide a wide range of flights
Work has started on building the new 80m Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Steel-work was erected by Barnsley-based Billington Structures on Monday as work begins on developing the terminal.

The state-of-the-art airport will have the capacity to serve 2.3m passengers.

The UK's newest airport for 30 years is due to open in Spring 2005, when Thomson will start low-cost flights from the site.

To mark the official start of the development, Don Valley MP Caroline Flint carried out the official turf cutting.

Widely debated

She said: "This terminal will be Doncaster's gateway to the world and a symbol that Doncaster is open for business.

"The start of this construction is the day when an idea begins to become real. For Doncaster's residents who have taken this airport to their hearts, this is their dream becoming a reality."

Airport managing director (designate) David Ryall, said: "The impact of this development has been widely debated throughout the regions it will serve when it opens for business this time next year.

"Now, with the start of construction, people can begin to see the very real benefits a scheme of this size and potential can deliver to the local economy in terms of creating work for local contractors and jobs for local people."

The airport will have one of the longest runaways in the north of England, with the potential to link directly to long-haul destinations such as the Far East, the Caribbean and America.

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