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Sheffield City Airport Petition

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Sheffield City Airport Petition

Old 26th Nov 2012, 22:30
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Sheffield City Airport Petition

The Federation of Small Businesses have started a petition calling for Sheffield City Airport to be re-opened. It seems Sheffield's business community has finally spotted that Doncaster has failed to provide anything which could be described as a business route. Shame it took so long for everybody to work out that the two are (were?) operating in completely different markets. Here's the link to the petition;

Redevelopment of Sheffield City Airport - PetitionBuzz

Could it be that Sheffield might eventually stop being 'the largest city in Europe WITHOUT its own airport'?
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 07:28
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What a ridiculous petition. Why did Sheffield City close in the first place? Airlines could not make money flying from it as the demand was not there.

If there was the demand suitable routes would be flown from Robin Hood. As they are not, they most certainly would not be flown from Sheffield City.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 08:45
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Do you know where Sheffield City Airport was Groundloop? Or the circumstances around the closure?
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 09:26
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Groundloop might like to do a little research on the subject before dismissing this so casually...
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 09:44
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Two of the factors which contributed to its demise were its lack of controlled airspace and secondly its lack of radar to provide some level of protection to its arrivals and departures while in Class G airspace.

A number of airproxes which occurred with Shefield traffic persuaded carriers that they could not adequately mitigate the hazards faced when operating in Class G without radar cover.

The CAA requires each carrier considering Class G operations to carry out a risk assessment to show that the level of risk can be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable. Controlled airspace would have helped, but was not attainable at the time due to the relatively few air transport movements and passenger throughput. Bit of a "checken and egg" situation.

Radar could have solved it, but appears to have been beyond the reach of investment funds available.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 10:02
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You don't appear to understand the problems, Groundloop. Airline Scams and Scandals describes them in detail.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 10:03
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TCAS FAN, thanks for the info, something I havent seen mentioned elsewhere. Its well known that when the airport was taken over, and as soon as the last commercial flight left, other necessary functions were removed or downgraded which meant no commercial passenger service could operate from there. This after only three years of being opened.

Last edited by pug; 27th Nov 2012 at 10:06.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 11:24
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The argument that Peel tried to kill off the airport because they were about to open Robin Hood is not born out by passenger numbers.

Passenger numbers had dropped from a peak of 75,000 in 1999, to 60,600 in 2000 to 33,000 in 2001 just as Peel took over ( ie less than 100 pax day in 2001).

So I'm afraid the figures don't back up the Peel Group conspiracy theorists.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 12:44
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There was me thinking infrastructure assets had to be given time... Im lead to believe that the airport exceeded initial forecasts during the three years it was handling scheduled services.

Its hardly a conspiracy theory. Peel, a property developer, were given the land for £1.00 which could be redeveloped provided they proved that the airport wasnt viable by 2008. Its quite easy, when you have other regional interests, to 'prove' Sheffield City is not viable. Particularly if you are to remove necessary infrastructure required for commercial flights..

I dont think anyones blaming Peel Holdings for doing what most property developers would do.

Last edited by pug; 27th Nov 2012 at 18:53.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 09:32
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Thanks to TCAS FAN for the background on airspace issues.

Of course, Sheffield City Airport's airspace situation would be a little different if it was to reopen today, with all that Class D airspace starting just 2nm to the east. The lower limits are currently too high, but the precedent has been set..
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 12:27
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Its hardly a conspiracy theory. Peel, a property developer, were given the land for £1.00
If Peel were given the airport for just £1.00 it should be obvious that the Council were desperate to offload a dead (or at least dying judging by the rapidly falling pax numbers) duck.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 13:03
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I suggest you go off and research it, then come back. At tge moment you clearly havent a clue.

Last edited by pug; 28th Nov 2012 at 13:28.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 14:42
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I recall when a STOLPORT at Sheffield was announced jumping on the Plymouth STOLPORT and subsequently London City STOLPORT theme, if I recall correctly Sheffield City Airport was the brainchild of a BCal, or ex BCal, pilot.

LCY started off, literally, as a DHC7 runway and, over the years, it has been extended and extended, had the runway remained at it's original length then I have no doubt that it would have, before now, met the same fate as Sheffield and Plymouth.

On the subject of PLH they extended the runway to, literally, maximum to accommodate DHC8 and ATR42 size and performance aircraft but alas these sizes of aircraft operations couldn't compete with the LoCo operators of larger, more economical per passenger, aircraft and last year PLH met it's fate.

So if Sheffield re-opens is a runway extension possible whereas, let's say, Q400 etc. operator(s) could operate or is it likely to remain restricted to 'Puddle Jumper' operations making it nonviable before it may even reopen?
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 18:03
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Q400s sometimes operate from the shorter runway 03/21 at IOM which is 1255m long, so SZD at 1211m surely would be feasible. At least DSA is available nearby for diversions in bad weather! F70 ops to get KLM back might be trickier, but there's space for a short extension to match LCY I'd suggest. I hope the petition succeeds as it would be a criminal waste to dig it up after it was stolen from the council tax payer. Hopefully one day there might be some money around to get it going again - there's a rail line right next to it so it would be easy to add to the tram network. It would be of great benefit to the Advanced Manufacturing Park which is developing apace across the road.

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=she...94641,-1.39090
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 18:18
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Groundloop. I don’t know anything about Sheffield City Airport history, but what I can say is that is not necessarily a guide to potential if a local authority sells of their airport for just 1 penny. Southend is a case in point, when RegionalAirports ( pre the Stobart era) took over the running of Southend Airport, I believe they purchased the lease for 1p. Southend Council were the airport’s worst enemy, they didn’t have a clue and still wouldn’t have if left to their own devices. Some years ago I witnessed them at Committee approve £250,000 for two doubled deck coaches, but refuse the then airport director £5000 to advertise a new route to Billund, yet at the same time expect him to turn the airport around. So many of our elected representatives have escaped from toy town and are best suited to chastising Noddy for driving too fast!
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 19:13
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What is the point in this?
If business routes were possible, why not use DSA which is a 20 minute drive away.
The demand isn't there.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 19:29
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What is the point in this?
Surely the fact that it wasn't '20 minutes drive away' gave it the competitive advantage over heading to MAN and going direct? Surely the ability to take bizjets straight in was contributing to the Sheffield economy?

The point of the petition? To stimulate debate and hopefully get the enquiry that has thus far not been forthcoming.

Last edited by pug; 28th Nov 2012 at 19:30.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 20:17
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I've read the petition. Not one figure on there to even start off a business case. Exactly who is supposed to put the money up for this?

I can think of only two 'city' airports in Europe that seem to have some commercial success:

1. London (capital city, specifically serves one of the world's most important financial centres)
2. Florence (major international tourist destination).

With respect, Sheffield is neither of these, and both have significantly longer runways than SZD.

I wouldn't contemplate a 'city' airport in any British region. No economic case, especially given the multitude of full size airports.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 20:19
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Its not a business proposal, t is a petition for an independent enquiry...

Last edited by pug; 28th Nov 2012 at 20:21.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 20:24
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True, but it goes back to 'What is the point...'

Why spend time and effort on something that is dead in the water?
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