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Cash flow "uncertainty" delays £42m new Airport

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Wednesday 23 January 2019

Cash flow "uncertainty" delays £42m new Airport

Plans for the £42 million revamp of Jersey Airport, which include the return of a viewing gallery, have been put on hold due to "uncertainty" over Ports of Jersey's future cashflows.

Ports of Jersey (PoJ) is currently working with the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authority (CICRA) and has yet to agree its future pricing.

In a statement, PoJ explained that their original plan was to upgrade the passenger pier in Phase Two of the project but that they had decided to bring this forward following feedback. They therefore submitted a revised planning application, which should be decided next month.

"This will therefore, delay the original start date for the build of Phase One (which was to create a first-floor airside departure lounge and new security area)," the statement read.

future airport

Pictured: Ports of Jersey said they had submitted a revised planning application for the Future Airport following feedback. 

But Ports of Jersey also said that until the outcome of their work on pricing levels with CICRA is known they cannot "fully commit" to the funding of the terminal project, as well as other major capital investments.

"As with all its investments, funding for these types of projects comes directly from Ports of Jersey from its own commercial revenues and does not call on financial support from the States of Jersey, with the actual phasing of projects based on the company’s future cash flows," they explained.


Pictured: Ports of Jersey warned that if they couldn't to increase their tariffs it would reduce their future level of investment.

The decision on PoJ's 'Long Term Pricing Framework' will not be known until June 2019. While it will provide "greater clarity over future cashflows", PoJ says there is currently "uncertainty over the outcome", which has led them "to take a prudent approach and temporarily hold back from committing to the necessary funding of £42m and consequently, the actual construction work on the integrated building has been paused."

The news comes just over six months after PoJ criticised the regulator for preventing them from not allowing them to increase prices.  PoJ said last June it had sought to impose a “modest” 2% increase on the service fees they charge in 2017, but that the Jersey Competition and Regulatory Authority (JCRA) had disagreed.

future airport

Pictured: The new airport project remains a "key priority" for Ports of Jersey.

They warned at the time that refusing a tariff price rise in line with inflation (RPI) would “inevitably lead to a diminution of the level of investment and/or customer service that can be provided.”

PoJ have however issued reassurances that the new airport project remains a "key priority" for them and will proceed. Work to comply with the UK Civil Aviation Authority for Ports of Jersey to implement a 30-metre ‘no-traffic’ exclusion zone immediately outside the terminal buildings is being brought forward. The exclusion zone will mean that only authorised vehicles such as buses, coaches and taxis will be permitted to drop off/pick up outside the main terminal entrance doors.

Internal work on the demolition of the current arrivals terminal, which includes the removal of walls and utility services on the unoccupied upper floors, has also started.

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