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Sheffield City Airport Petition

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Sheffield City Airport Petition

Old 8th Feb 2013, 12:11
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Norman Normal, regional airports compete with each other (why would Leeds Bradford and Humberside object to DSA opening?), to attract airlines and create bases, and a re-opened SZD would definitely be competing with DSA, so why would Peel sell unless they were forced to?

The number of inter-UK flights between regional airports on small turboprops is a small percentage of total flights. The majority of flights from regional airports are to Europe, on jets or large turboprops. DSA is well suited for this, when the economy picks up. SZD is not and never will be. The two UK routes you mention are Eastern Airways flights, who are unlikely to use a re-opened SZD as they own Humberside (a competitor!) and they already operate from Leeds and East Midlands. High prices (which are typical on STOL aircraft) does not equal high margin. It's more likely due to high costs.

It's unlikely any airline would use SZD, as it is too short and doesn't have radar. There are currently no commercial flights from any similar sized runway in the UK, and, other than a few rare exceptions in the Scottish Highlands, none into a non-radar airport. Since SZD originally opened, airlines want bigger runways for bigger planes and radar. BA got rid of all of their turboprops, and KLMuk's smallest aircraft is larger than the one that flew into SZD.

I don't think DSA is catering for a niche market. Currently, yes (because of the economy). But potentially, no. It's in a similar position to places like Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, East Midlands were 15 years ago. Back then the only time you would visit one of those airports was for a charter flight on a package deal to the sun - just like DSA now.

The Ciudad Real airport fiasco is very different to DSA. It cost £1 billion pounds to open (15 times the cost at DSA), was alleged to have been planned to fail from the beginning and there was corruption - investors, banks and the regional Government were conned into putting money in and it all, allegedly, went to the developer and his construction company.

There is some misinformation and propaganda coming from the FSB (I support their campaign, but I wish they would stick to facts).

The FSB write in their myths document:
“Sheffield has a 1211 metre runway. There are many regional airliners operating out of cities all over the world that are designed specifically to land and take off on 1200 metre runways. London City Airport handles about 3m passengers per year, all of them flying in and out on regional airliners“.
LCY’s runway is 1508 metres – 25% longer than SZD. That is a massive difference, as most of the aircraft that flies in to LCY would not fit into SZD.

The list of airlines that the FSB say could use SZD is incorrect. BACityFlyer, Air France Régional and Lufthansa regional do not have aircraft capable of using SZD at maximum weight. KLMuk have 3 aircraft that could just about fit into SZD - the ATR 72 (requires 1200 metres, no room for error!). But if they are already allocated to other routes then KLM is out of the question for SZD. An airport that relies on one or two airlines (even with 100% loads) is not going to be profitable - ask Humberside!

Toronto City Airport does have a 1200m runway with 1.5 million passengers. But they have a large operator (Porter Airlines) based there with a fleet of 26 aircraft designed for short runway operations. If SZD was to re-open there will never be a scenario where a major airline uses SZD as their main hub. Before Porter moved into Toronto City in 2006 the airport was losing $1 million a year.

Toronto City’s runway length is 180 metres shorter than the Porter's fleet manufacturer’s specifications, so the airline have to leave 8 seats empty on every flight. Hardly an ideal situation in the UK, where fuel costs, passenger taxes and airport fees are much higher than in North America.

Metro Toronto has a population of 5.5 million, and it's the financial capital in Canada. To get anywhere in Canada you have to fly, unlike the UK. So the figure of 1.5 million doesn't look quite as impressive. Sheffield's population is just over a tenth of metro Toronto, which would equate to about 150,000 passengers annually (before we start narrowing that down and thinking about niches that SZD would be targeting) - which is not enough to make an airport viable.

It is extreme for the FSB to compare the potential of Sheffield City airport with London City and Toronto City. It's like comparing Humberside with Heathrow.

Like I said before, I would love SZD to open. I've flown from it when it was open. But my head says it will never happen, unless some rich guy wants to lose millions on a hobby.

Last edited by wb9999; 8th Feb 2013 at 13:42.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 13:40
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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unless some rich guy wants to lose millions on a hobby.
For all those with a wish list for Sheffield Airport to reopen as a commercial venture the above quote says it all. Which airline in the present economic climate even if it had the aircraft available would want to fly from Sheffield?When the economy picks up and eventually it will, all the factors in regard to it's original closure as a commercial airport will still be there.In time even the keenest proponent for reopening Sheffield Airport will come to realise it will never happen.Good luck to them for still trying.
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 23:01
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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wb999,

You are quite incorrect regarding your summarisation of, supposedly, how the likes NCL, LPL and LBA were 15 years ago, you might have only visited such airports for a package deal to the sun but others visited them for other purposes.

Not just 15 years ago, I can cast my mind back 25 or more years, in those days such airlines as BA, BMA, BCal, AirUK, Dan Air, Loganair aswell as all the smaller airlines that came and went, had quite a domestic route network.

One example, if I can recall AirUK's routes, from NCL AirUK offered routes to EDI, ABZ, STN and/or NWI aswell as, internationally, AMS and CPH, besides these NCL also had services to both LGW & LHR, no doubt Dan Air were offering services to Ireland pn the "Budgie" network and so on.

LBA, AirUK offered routes to STN, EDI, ABZ, BFS, AMS & CPH, BMA offered a LHR service whilst other operators offered other routes.

15 or more years ago LPL would have been the last airport I would have thought of for a package holiday, in those days LPL was only good for such routes as Ireland and IOM unless one wants to go even further back to BMA's LHR route and the days of Cambrian Airways!

Perhaps one of the lesser (slower) airports to develop was HUY, perhaps, because it's not anywhere in particular, even the name itself suggests it is beside a river rather than in or near a city and without a significant catchment area.

And, not so far down the road, there is Finningley, again without a significant catchment area, take a look how long it has taken HUY to get to where it is today, something like 40 years, well expect it to take Finningley a further 30+ years to get to a level that HUY is at today!
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Old 8th Feb 2013, 23:38
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Phileas, yes there were a small number of scheduled domestic and European routes at each airport but many more charter, 15 years ago (the AirUK name disappeared that year, closely followed by many of their routes). I was comparing their position back then to Finningley now. Finningley is not solely charter - they have about 7 scheduled destinations. So my point about DSA's position being comparable to others 15 years ago is still correct.

15 years ago LPL had 600k passengers.
15 years ago LBA had 1.2 million passengers.
Both had been open decades before reaching these numbers.
In 2011 DSA had 800k, and had reached 1.1 million annually within 2 years of opening, and then the economy went pear shaped. If DSA had been luckier with the economy not being so attrocious so soon after opening they would probably have been exceeding 2 million passengers annually by now, based on the growth in the first couple of years.

Finningley bypassed HUY after year 1, and had three times the number of passengers in 2011.

So I wouldn't be concerned about DSA just yet. Give it another 10 years, when hopefully the economy will have picked up.

According to a recent LPL press release, Liverpool did host charter flights pre-loco days.No idea when, but I guess in the 90s.

Last edited by wb9999; 9th Feb 2013 at 00:28.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 00:36
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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wb9999,

LPL open for decades before 15 years ago?

Which "LPL" are you talking about, the old or the current? Of the current LPL the runway was laid circa 1966 and the current airport opened circa 1986?

And LBA, well LBA has an appalling weather record, in days gone by it had restricted and regimental opening hours and, these alone, put airlines off and, until 1984, it had a restrictive runway length combined with high terrain off one end of the runway and even with the runway extension in place the high terrain caused this to happen:



So LBA had and has it's own problems developing and the old LPL had short runways and an undersized and geriatric terminal which, these days, is a Crowne Plaza Hotel.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 00:53
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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Phileas, as a reminder the discussion is about the viability of DSA (because SZD was deemed unviable, so people don't think we have hijacked a thread!).

LPL's runway opened in 1966, so 32 years before 1998 = 3 decades.
LBA started commercial services in 1935, and was operating holiday charters in the 70s = 2 to 6 decades.
Either way the facilities in operation by 1998 had been in place longer than DSA has been open.
Any deficiencies at either airport in the past, in a comparison to DSA now, are offset by your own point about lack of catchment area at DSA. So I guess that makes them all equal for comparison purposes.

Anyway, I think it best to return the discussion to SZD.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 00:55
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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One last thing... That pic you posted would be a regular view at SZD if the FSB truly believe that all aircraft that fly into LCY would get into Sheffield.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 01:08
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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"It's unlikely any airline would use SZD, as it is too short and doesn't have radar. There are currently no commercial flights from any similar sized runway in the UK, and, other than a few rare exceptions in the Scottish Highlands, none into a non-radar airport"

Are Lands End and the Isles of Scilly in Scottish Highlands now, when did they move?
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 01:19
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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After I posted that I did mean to put a disclaimer about flights to/from isolated communities where air transport is a necessity and the flights can be done at low level. Which would hardly cover Sheffield. I doubt a SZD to AMS flight would be at 4,000 feet.

Before you mention it, I know a small operator is planning a Shoreham to Paris service, but they they've been short-lived in the past.

And I'm surprised you didn't mention North Denes, even though that's helicopters.

Last edited by wb9999; 9th Feb 2013 at 01:22.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 01:35
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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wb9999,

Nope, the Shoreham service ain't going to Paris ... It's going to POX

And, hailing from the South-East and having lived and worked in Sussex twice during my career I'm reasonably familiar with the chequered history of hit and miss air services in/out of Shoreham.

But you are coming up with incorrect comparisons with other airports and/or air services, you suggested that there are no STOL non-radar services in England & Wales, I suggested Land's end, not only short and non-radar but grass, it is not a neccessity to use it because St. Mawgan is up the road from Lands End, you know that and you predicted that I would point it out so you entered a loophole of "low level services" in vain attempt to win your point ... Didn't you?
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 01:51
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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I would be shocked if SZD would attract, or rely on, island destinations (Highlands, Channel or Scilly) so I don't think it affects the discussion about SZD, even though the Scillies had slipped my mind. (easily done)

There are a very limited number of Twin Otters and Islanders. Don't start raising the hopes of people in Sheffield, otherwise the Scillies will be overrun.

And you didn't pick up on Dundee!
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:04
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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Twin Otters, Islanders, Do228's are all in current production so who can say how many there are?

Dundee is in Scotland is it not ... You'd already covered that in one of your previous loopholes.

I was going to, previously, mention Alderney aswell but then you another loophole of "UK" and, technically speaking, Alderney isn't in UK.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:07
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Just to break this discussion - interesting though it is - can I just sum up my thoughts:

- there is not enough business and/or citybreak traffic at the moment to sustain either Sheffield or DSA.
- DSA is surviving at the moment on holiday coast destinations, and Polish and Lithuanian migrants' traffic with perhaps about 10% outgoing tourist traffic thereto. Hopefully both will pick up with an economic upturn.
- Improvements in Eurostar diminish the case for short flights from either airport.
- There is no domestic market.
- Because of the proximity of MAN, LBA, EMA and HUY (to Amsterdam) the catchment area is restricted by them.
- There are severe issues with runway length at a potentially reopened Sheffield airport

This leads to the conclusion there is little hope of Sheffield airport reopening

Last edited by johnnychips; 9th Feb 2013 at 02:35.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:14
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Alderney is covered by radar. You can't get to it without going through the Channel Islands Control Zone (Class A, managed by Jersey).
Dundee is probably typical of what SZD would be like. 2 flights a day to LCY, lots of other routes coming and going and the airport losing millions each year. That sounds like a cheap dig, buy it isn't meant that way. They have a 1400 metre runway and struggle to find long term operators. It's more comparable then LCY and Toronto City.

Last edited by wb9999; 9th Feb 2013 at 02:18.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:15
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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johnnychips, I would say that's a fair summary.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:20
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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wb9999,

I was referring to the runway at ACI and not the radar, if ACI isn't "STOL" then I don't know what is!

I'd suggest that Peel are doing any potential buyer/operator of SZD a favour by declining to sell ... they're saving him/her from losing a bucket load of money.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:20
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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Dundee is probably typical of what SZD would be like. 2 flights a day to LCY
Dundee is a long way from London. As has previously been said, Sheffield is about two-and-a-quarter hours away by an hourly train.

And, as has been previously said, if MAN can't sustain flights to LCY, how could Sheffield?
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 02:26
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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johnnychips, true. I did mean it more in the sense of 2 flights a day (any destination). It would probably be outside of Britain.

Phileas, I will agree on your last point.
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 11:32
  #199 (permalink)  
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I know the following won't interest all of you, but Sheffield FSB's Neville Martin has sent this out today;

You recently signed the Federation of Small Businesses’ petition calling on Sheffield City Council to “....urgently ensure that any redevelopment of the site of the former Sheffield City Airport (including further destruction of its infrastructure) is proscribed until an independent public enquiry is held to look into the potential for its future use as a facility for commercial aviation.”

You will be delighted to know that the petition has surpassed its target of 5,000 signatories, and this allows us to force the Council to debate the issue in open forum.

We shall be formally presenting the petition to the Council at 10.15am on Thursday 14 February at Sheffield Town Hall. If any signatories would like to attend the handover, we shall be meeting with Timothy Kirkhope MEP, who has been a staunch supporter of our campaign, at the front of the Town Hall at 10.00am. It is hoped the Leader of the Council or a senior deputy will emerge to formally receive the petition and there will be a press photo opportunity.

Please feel free to attend.

Neville Martin
Development Manager
Federation of Small Businesses
Small Business Support
Tel: 0114 261 7132
Mobile: 07917 628922

The information contained in this email is strictly confidential and for the use of the addressee only. Notice is hereby given that any disclosure, use or copying of the information by anyone other than the intended recipient is prohibited and may be illegal. If you have received this message in error please notify the sender immediately by return email. Neither the sender nor the FSB accept liability for any damage sustained as a result of software viruses and advises that you carry out your own virus checks before opening any attachment.

National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses Ltd (Federation of Small Businesses) Sir Frank Whittle Way, Blackpool Business Park, Blackpool FY4 2FE. Registered in England No: 1263540 VAT No: 997342763

The FSB Conference 2013 website contains a wealth of useful information about the forthcoming Conference in Leicester in March 2013. Visit Federation of Small Businesses Conference 2013
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 12:11
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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I'm staggered this thread is still going.

Could someone please list the commercial airliner types with more than 19 seats that could happily utilise this 1199m runway with no significant constraints on passenger or fuel load? Whilst you are at it, list the 19-seaters too - J31 for instance can't use this length.

Of those you think can happily perform commercial routes from such a 1199m runway, how many of those types are readily available, well supported with spares availability, MROs, easy to find/train type-rated crew, have relatively low operating costs per seat etc. etc.?

There's no scope to practically extend this runway at all - you're stuck with what there is with the requisite RESAs at either end and the clear and graded widths either side of the runway.

Complete and utter non-starter for commercial ops. It's also no good for any practical form of business aviation bar a few turboprops.

Sorry.
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