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York Aviation - Alderney Runway Economic Appraisal - Press Release from States of Guernsey

For Immediate Release: 6 April 2017

States' Trading Supervisory Board & States of Alderney
York Aviation Economic Study into an extended runway for Alderney

In August 2016, the States of Guernsey and States of Alderney jointly commissioned a detailed study into the potential economic benefits of an extended runway at Alderney Airport.

Airport specialist York Aviation was appointed to assess the potential benefits of an extension, compared to substantially upgrading the existing main runway by resurfacing, widening and improving the drainage and lighting, but maintaining its current length.

The findings have been published and the report is available on the States of Alderney website (www.alderney.gov.gg) and the States of Guernsey's (www.gov.gg/AlderneyRunway).

The study concluded that:

  • The runway should be rehabilitated and widened to 23m;
  • A runway extension now would only be economically viable if certain assumptions of a direct impact on increasing population and tourism could be realised, and improvements to the runway and other infrastructure delivered at the lowest possible cost. York considered these assumptions were unlikely to be met;
  • The 42-seat aircraft that might use an 1100m runway are no longer a popular choice among aircraft operators. The costs of operating larger aircraft and the consequential effects on frequency of service would have other negative impacts and would require additional security procedures;
  • Any upgrade work now should allow for a potential runway extension at a later date, if it proved cost-effective in future;
  • All possible steps should be taken to improve reliability and capacity of existing air services, to provide a platform for improving economic performance and delivering passenger growth with the current infrastructure.

The report has been considered by Alderney's Policy and Finance Committee and Guernsey's States' Trading Supervisory Board.

The next stage is to progress a proposal through the States of Guernsey Capital Investment Programme. That is likely to advise a full runway refurbishment without further delay and in line with the York Aviation recommendations, retaining the existing length but widening from the current 18 metres to its original 23 metres.

Improvements would also be made to centreline lighting and airfield drainage, to increase operational performance.

Policy & Finance Chairman, James Dent, said his committee was keen the refurbishment is progressed as a matter of urgency, and in such a manner as to not compromise a possible future runway extension. That would be in accordance with York Aviation's findings.

"While not necessarily accepting all York Aviation's conclusions, we recommend Guernsey Airport is now asked to proceed as rapidly as possible with the Outline Business Case for the full rehabilitation work" he said.

"The Committee is particularly concerned to prevent further delays in the full rehabilitation of this vital infrastructure, as Alderney Airport is absolutely essential to revitalising our economy. That is of course in the economic and social interests of both islands.

"Should a competitively let Public Service Obligation contract be on the horizon, we will need an airport that is fit-for-purpose and which a range of airlines may be prepared to fly to."

Ends

Issued by: Jim Anderson

Tel: 01481 231210 Mobile: 07781 108325

E-mail: Jim.Anderson@gov.gg