Pupils from Hayfield Primary School and St Alban’s Primary school took part in a special careers event at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) on 2 May 2019. The visit saw the Airport launch the next cohort of its Bright Futures school engagement programme which aims to inspire more children and of greater diversity to consider careers in aviation.
The children aged between 8 and 10 heard from members of the Airport team to find out about the many roles and job opportunities at the Airport. The programme first launched last year focusses on children who will typically be seeking to enter the world of work around halfway through some of the most significant growth and developments at the Airport as part of its 20-year Masterplan to 2037.
Two lucky pupils also had the important role of unveiling the new Doncaster Sheffield sign on the Airport’s terminal. The airport, formally known as Robin Hood, changed its name to Doncaster Sheffield Airport in recent years, to be in line with airlines and the name commonly adopted by its passengers. Robin Hood will still be retained within the brand for the future as the Airport develops its inbound tourism traffic.
Teacher, Natalie Radford, from Hayfield Primary, said: “It has been a really interesting day for the children and helped them to understand the many different roles that an Airport has and given them lots to think about. Everyone thinks about cabin crew or pilot, but today has shown that there are so many other career options from retail to firefighters, to engineers and beyond.”
Cargo Development Manager, Amira El-Khrouf, Andy Hudson, Air Traffic Services Manager, Mike McGann, Engineering Manager and members of the Airport fire station were on hand to talk about their individual airport journeys and take questions from pupils. The schools’ engagement programme was launched in 2018 as part of the public consultation on the Masterplan which saw 1,600 responses and overwhelming 90% of responses either supporting or strongly supporting the proposed Masterplan.
Robert Hough, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We are delighted that children from our local area were so keen to come and find out more about what we do at the Airport and share the honour of officially unveiling our new sign.
“We are confident of a bright future here at DSA and hope to see many of them again in ten to 15 years’ time as our next generation of engineers, managers, air traffic officers or aircraft crew.
“We are seeing significant growth in passengers numbers, expected to increase between 15 and 20% in the year ahead with 11 new destinations added in the last year so felt that it was the right time for us to name the Airport with a focal point of the place and region we so proudly serve.”
Dan Jarvis, mayor of Sheffield City Region, said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport’s bold vision for an ‘Aerotropolis’ is key to the future of our region’s international connectivity. The proposed East Coast Main Line railway station would be truly game-changing for DSA and the wider North, with up to 73,000 new jobs and a multimillion-pound boost to the economy.
“It’s therefore absolutely right that young people are at the centre of these ambitious plans and, during today’s event, I was inspired by their energy and enthusiasm for the world of aviation.
“Schemes such as Bright Futures are so important for introducing young people to the world of work. As DSA’s Masterplan takes shape over the coming decades, I hope the project will enable children from all backgrounds to explore the opportunities available to them and realise their full potential.”
Doncaster Sheffield Airport published its masterplan in 2018 which set out an ambitious vision of how the airport and its surrounding area will grow and develop over the next 20 years. The airport currently supports over 1,000 jobs, provides £62m into the local economy with over 100 businesses on site.
The new terminal building sign features a full range of colour option. Its purpose is to enable DSA to celebrate with the colours of flags or Airline brands. The first opportunity to see the new sign in all its colourful glory will be on Saturday evening when the sign will mark the inaugural flight to Sanford Florida with US colours. Naturally the best effects will be seen at dusk.