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The Aviation Minister Baroness Vere visited Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) as its investors the Peel Group today (Monday 1 July) announced plans to build a £2m solar farm which will generate 25% of the airport’s energy and drastically reduce its carbon footprint.

Peel Energy is to develop, construct, own and operate the solar farm which is due to be operational in 2020 and will provide 1.7 MWp of zero carbon energy, saving 220 tonnes of carbon every year – the equivalent of boiling 2.2m kettles every year.

The development is a key part of the Airport’s 20-year Masterplan which sees passenger’s numbers soar to 1.45m this year and forecasted by the airport to double within the next 5 years, consistent with its market breaking growth over the past five years in excess of 75%.

The Aviation Minister was also there to witness the Airport sign up to the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter which makes a commitment to building a more balanced and fair industry for women. This follows the launch of the airport’s Bright Futures schools engagement programme that aims to inspire children, particularly girls, to consider a career in aviation.

Aviation minister Baroness Vere said:

“To bring about real change in transport, we need to do things differently. From decreasing carbon emissions at airports to increasing female representation, the aviation industry is acting now to safeguard our future.

“Today’s investment shows that airports are finding practical ways to become cleaner and greener, and Doncaster Sheffield’s commitment to the women in aviation charter is another vote of confidence in our work to build a fairer sector for all.”

On her visit to the airport the Minister viewed the economic project being delivered at DSA. Through both aviation and rail DSA is the catalyst to deliver thousands of new jobs, housing, advanced manufacturing, logistics, community facilities and provide a major international gateway for the east side of the country.

Robert Hough, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said:

“We are pleased that the Aviation Minister recognises our position as a key part of the solution for the UK’s aviation needs and as a growth driver for the economy. We are committed to our part in delivering the opportunity here around DSA which with the right support from government can start making an impact on people in the North lives now, not years away.

“Our other announcements made today are vitally important for our sustainable future, reducing our carbon emissions alongside our airlines and further committing to women in aviation – both crucial for the long term and central to our values.”