Friends of Doncaster Sheffield Airport
‘Supporting and Promoting the Airport at Each and Every Opportunity’
FODSA meetings are held at the airport in Meteor House, which is the first building on the right hand side of the airport approach road after turning at the Hayfield traffic lights. New members always welcome. We have members with a wide variety of interests. Come along to see what we do. You do not have to join on the night. Free parking 100 yds. on the right passed Armstrong House, also to the side and rear of Meteor House. Throughout 2018 meetings will be held once a month – on the first Wednesday of the month.
The next FODSA meeting will be held Wednesday 6th February 2019 in Meteor House.
Many thanks to our guest visitor 7th November, Dr Yvonne Rinkart, Lecturer in Human Geography, Sheffield Hallam University, for judging our 2018 Photographic Competition.
Friends of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (FODSA) was established in February 2005 by a small group of people who had previously been part of ‘FLY’ Finningley (Finningley locals say YES). The ‘FLY’ group was formed in 1998 by like minded people who agreed that it was in the best interests of South Yorkshire and the surrounding districts for the old Finningley RAF base to be turned into an international airport. The group gave support to the planning application, actively collecting many thousands of letters of support for the development. People from the ‘FLY’ group also gave evidence at the Public Inquiry and indeed received praise, for the quality of their evidence, from counsel representing both those for and against the development. The FODSA group is not unique and has followed the footsteps of ‘Friends of Liverpool Airport’ (FOLA), and as FOLA point out in their own literature, it is almost unique to have a Friends association, when elsewhere, many other airports have to battle it out with pressure groups. However, we do aim to be an independent,and non-political organisation and hope to gather members from near and far.
Basis of our activities
Our aim is to promote Doncaster Sheffield Airport at each and every opportunity, through encouraging its preservation, development and improvement. We will also help to inform public opinion by providing advice and information about the airport, the airlines that use it and services available from it. As a society, FODSA brings together like minded people with a common interest. At present we hold meetings once a month, have regular visits to places of interest and produce a quarterly Newsletter distributed free to members. FODSA has a representative that attends the Airport Consultative Committee/Noise Monitoring Sub Committee and also a representative that attends the Airport Emergency Planning Committee. As from the summer of 2014, FODSA have also taken on the role of Airport Ambassadors – welcoming and assisting visitors and passengers with a stress free journey through the airport.
How do we do this
These broad objectives are put into practice in a variety of ways and we aim to assist the airport to develop its potential in every way possible. For example, we assist the airport by providing additional hands for distribution of advertising material and in other promotional activity. In due course we hope that FODSA members will be acting as guides to visiting school parties. We will also be looking at setting up exhibitions in large factories and office blocks to promote Doncaster Sheffield Airport. We can also help to keep the airport in the public spotlight by writing to the press and prominent people regarding subjects that affect the airport and its operations.
Looking to the future
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is the first all new international airport in this country since Stansted was built in the late 1960’s. It promises to be a real success and it is important that the FODSA group grow and adapt alongside the airport. So if you would like to help promote or simply just keep abreast of developments at this brand new airport then joining FODSA should be a priority.
FODSA meet once a month. Meetings are held in Meteor House, which is the first building on the right hand side of the Airport approach road after turning at the Hayfield Lane traffic lights. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday in the month and are open to all members, commencing at 19:30hrs and usually last about one and a half hours. The meetings provide an opportunity to obtain news on airport activities. There is a good deal of open discussion on matters relating to FODSA and details of the society correspondence. We occasionally manage to get a member of the airport management team to attend a meeting and update us with the latest news and, if time permits, answer questions from the floor.
FODSA produce a quarterly newsletter containing news, views, and articles about the airport and its environs. It also has news about FODSA activities. Members are encouraged to contribute.
Special events and trips
FODSA organise outings to places of interest. In recent times FODSA members have paid visits to London Stansted Airport, John Lennon Airport at Liverpool, Doncaster Sheffield Airport Control Tower and Fire Station, DSA Fire Station for instruction on Airfield Habitat Management, RAF Scampton to see the Red Arrows team, Elvington Air Museum, the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Royal Air Force Museum Cosford , Rolls-Royce Factory Derby, DHL Cargo at EMA and Airbus Wing Factory Broughton North Wales. All members have the opportunity to take part.
The site is regularly updated and contains all the information about the FODSA group and Doncaster Sheffield Airport and the services available from it. There are links to RHA website and the various airlines that use the airport. There is also a link to the FOLA website at Liverpool Airport and the recently formed ‘Friends of Durham Tees Valley Airport’.
Membership is open to all and following recent changes to the constitution will run from Jan 1st to Dec 31st. Included in the membership is a quarterly newsletter.
FODSA make efforts to obtain concessions for members at various outlets. These will be announced in the Newsletter when and as they become available.
Application Membership Forms are available from:
Alternatively if you wish to download the Membership form click here.
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Flying the Flag for Ken Clark
FODSA member and former FLY campaigner Ken Clark, wanted, above most other things, to be able to place the Yorkshire flag on the proposed Robin Hood statue at the airport. Sadly for Ken he died before that wish could be carried out. FODSA members however, vowed to carry out Ken’s wishes, and finally did so on Tuesday, 20 March 2007.
Flying the flag for Ken in 2007
Ken lived in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and considered the airport to be a bond between the two counties of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. Prior to the 1970’s English county boundary changes, part of the airport was in fact, in Nottinghamshire, so a bond between the counties has existed previously. Ken’s view was that by putting the Yorkshire flag on the statue it would represent the re-uniting of the bond between the two counties. Seventeen FODSA members attended the ceremony that was with the approval of RHADS (now DSA) management.
Also in attendance was Alan Tolhurst, ex Commanding Officer of RAF Finningley and current Chairman of the Airport Consultative Committee, and Deborah Horner the airport management’ Communications Co-ordinator. The Yorkshire Flag was placed over the Robin Hood statue and instead of the usual one minutes silence the group decided to applaud Ken for 30 seconds. What a fitting tribute it was. Stuart Green & Alan Tolhurst said a few words about the occasion whilst two newspaper photographers and several members clicked away with cameras to catch the moment for posterity.
Ken sadly passed away on 18 April 2006. Ken was very proud to be a member of FODSA and will be missed by everyone. He was 77 years old. The following tribute to Ken is by Stuart Green who was a friend and fellow FLY supporter:
Ken was truly one of those whose enthusiasm for life involved him in many activities. Apart from the FLY Finningley campaign, followed by FODSA membership, Ken was long involved with his local Tenants and Residents Association in Worksop, serving as chairman for several years. Additionally, he was a founder member of The Chesterfield Canal Trust, being involved for 28 years and latterly running educational and pleasure trips on the boat ‘Norwood Packet’.
Ken at the airport before the opening
Ken’s boundless enthusiasm and initiative was shown by the way he first became involved in the campaign for a commercial airport at Finningley. The Worksop contingent of FLY had left standard letters of support for completing at shops, pubs etc, when it suddenly became apparent that someone else was collecting signatures on the FLY letters in a very methodical way. Ken was eventually tracked down to a local shopping centre where he had constructed a display stand and was busy obtaining signatures on several hundred FLY letters, which he had copied at his own expense. No matter that Ken did not know what to do with the completed letters, it was enough to be involved in a cause he believed in, and he was sure something would turn up to point him in the right direction – as it did when members of FLY found him. Thereafter, Ken, wearing his heart on his sleeve, became an inspirational member of the airport campaign and was at the forefront of every initiative FLY attempted. He will be greatly missed and long remembered by FODSA members and all who came into contact with him.