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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20121011005 |
|Title:||FSB Urges Rethink On Airport|
|Author:||Federation of Small Businesses |
|ID & Publication:||20121011005 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
|Subject:||Business News |
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written to the Business Minister Vince Cable to urge the government to bring a halt to the redevelopment of the site of the former Sheffield City Airport.
In light of the fast-developing Advanced Manufacturing Park, the associated high-tech businesses along the Sheffield / Rotherham border and the newly-announced Local Enterprise Zone, the FSB is urging that further consideration be given to the potential for the site’s future use as a facility for commercial aviation.
The airport was built to emulate the highly successful London City Airport which is presently handling nearly three million passengers a year. Sheffield City Airport was located only four miles from the centre of Sheffield and three miles from Rotherham. These two communities have a combined population of nearly one million and within a sixty minute drive the population exceeds nine million.
When it first opened, an independent report into the operation of Sheffield City Airport concluded that the airport would assist in achieving the vision of a step change in the performance of the sub-region economy, help attract and nurture companies in a number of high technology, high skills and high value-added target growth areas and assist the area in attracting inward investment.
Gordon Millward, Regional Chairman of the FSB, commented:
‘We in the FSB believe that, far from a lesser need for a city airport in Sheffield, the need is greater now than when the airport first opened. Its supposed replacement, Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, has focused its operating strategy solely on international leisure tourism and delivers none of the benefits so vital to the growing high-tech business community. Even a cursory glance at its destination lists confirms that none of the major European centres of commerce and technology are served.
‘The former Sheffield City Airport is about to be ‘redeveloped’ and its runway ripped up. Once this happens, all hope of a facility in Sheffield for reaching the major European centres, giving access to the key customers, suppliers and partners of western Europe, will be lost. We have therefore written to the Business Minister Vince Cable to exhort him to ensure that any redevelopment of the Sheffield City Airport site (including further destruction of its infrastructure) is proscribed until an independent public enquiry is held to look into the public interest elements surrounding the airport’s closure and its potential for future use as a facility for commercial aviation.
‘We urge the South Yorkshire business community to write to local MPs and Councillors to support us in this plea.’
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