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Losses force Sheffield City Airport closure

Financial difficulties forced Sheffield City airport to close last week after 10 years in operation.

The airport will now provide a base for South Yorkshire Police helicopter and Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The runway will be dug up and replaced with a business park.

The airport served commercial routes when it opened in 1997 but these shut down in August 2002. Since then it has been used
for privately chartered business flights.

Despite suffering losses, the terms of its initial lease dictated that the airport be kept operational for a minimum of 10 years
after it opened.

"Sheffield City Airport opened in 1997 and struggled to operate as a full commercial airport despite significant financial support from
the owners," said a Sheffield City Council spokesperson.

Peel Holdings and Tinsley Park Limited created a joint venture to own and operate the airport. The terms of the lease held by Sheffield
City Council dictated that if the airport could not be made commercially viable by 2007, the freehold would transfer to the
airport operators.

The airport was built on the same model as London City Airport with a short runway. This put off low cost airlines and local
business traffic was insufficient to sustain the airport.

York Aviation independently assessed the airport’s commercial viability in 2004. It concluded that the airport would not be commercially viable by 2007.

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