Doncaster Airport hopes to lift restrictions on cargo
8.1.2009 (The Star)
ROBIN Hood Airport has gone ahead with an official bid to lift restrictions on
night-time cargo flights to create more jobs. But the move has sparked concerns
from pressure group Finningley Airport Network which has set up a petition protesting
against the plan.
Bosses at the Finningley airport have submitted plans to relax the limitations
which they say will make greater use of the site and bring it in line with other
airports that transport cargo.
It wants to overturn a ban on noisier aircraft like Boeing 747s – known as QC4s
– operating at night because officials are concerned the current ruling is hampering
efforts to attract a freight operator to set up base at Robin Hood.
Freight firm Fedex last year snubbed the airport because of the restrictions,
instead choosing to locate to Manchester.
Since opening in April 2005 Robin Hood carried around 600 tonnes of cargo annually
in its first two years.
Freight operations from the airport are currently below expectations. Bosses
claim one reason is the restrictions on QC4 planes using Robin Hood between 11pm and 7am which are more stringent than most other regional airports.
Robin Tudor, spokesman for Peel, owners of the airport said current annual noise
limit regulations would not be amended if the application was passed.
He said: “It is about making the airport more competitive so we can attract the
key freight carriers who have one or two QC4s in their fleet.
“We are not talking about QC4 aircraft flying night after night. Even by 2106
our estimates are less than two QC4s aircraft using the airport a week.”
The council has now started a consultation process.
Letters have been sent to town and parish councils and residents who have previously
objected to the proposals.
A document submitted to the council by the airport said relaxing the rules would
compliment Government policy to expand regional airports by making better use
of Robin Hood’s runway.
If the appeal is approved restrictions banning larger aircraft than QC4s would
not be affected. Finningley Airport Network spokesman Ray Nortrop said hundreds of residents were concerned about the possible relaxing of the
night flying rules.
He said: “It will leave hundreds of people exposed to the onslaught of horrendous
night noise pollution from both surface traffic and airborne sources on a nightly
He added the matter would be discussed at a public meeting at Bawtry New Hall,
Station Road, at 7.30pm tomorrow. (9th)
The document outlining the airport’s plans can be viewed at Doncaster Council’s
planning offices, libraries and some post offices near the airport.
The consultation period will end on Friday January 30.
The application will then go before the planning committee.
Residents should submit views in writing to:
Robin Hood Airport Consultation, Directorate of Development, Development and
Planning, Second floor, Danum House, St Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster, DN1 1UB.
more information at:
Doncaster Robin Hood Airport