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Alderney Airport project challenged

Alderney Airport project challenged

Friday 18 November 2022

Alderney Airport project challenged

Friday 18 November 2022

Efforts to resurface - but not extend - Alderney's runway, could overshadow plans to invest in redeveloping the whole airport.

While the States of Guernsey will be asked to approve plans to invest millions of pounds in strengthening, widening, and lengthening the runway along with rebuilding the terminal building, an increasing number of Deputies are coming up with alternative plans.

The States Trading Supervisory Board which oversees all airports and ports across Guernsey and Alderney, is proposing Guernsey works with Alderney on what is known as Option C+.

This is seen as the preferred option for the rehabilitation project by many politicians, civil servants and members of the public in Alderney.

Alderney Airport C+

Pictured: The Option C+ for Alderney's Airport is the preferred choice by some in Guernsey and Alderney.

Alderney States Member, Steve Roberts has said that the rehabilitation of the airport and runway is necessary to "improve business and reduce deficit" in the island.

He and others have vocally supported the plans, citing a need to enable larger aircraft to land.

The multi-million pound project to strengthen, widen, and lengthen Alderney's runway will be predominantly funded by Guernsey, under the terms of the 1948 agreement. 

Taxation raised in Alderney is paid to the States of Guernsey. It came to £6.89m in 2021. Guernsey paid out £12.30m in the same year to fund the "transferred services" which includes management of the ports, health care, and education.

The proposal to approve Option C+ is being challenged by some Guernsey politicians and will be debated next week.

Carl Meerveld Chris Blin

Pictured: Deputies Carl Meerveld and Chris Blin.

There have been three amendments lodged against the STSB's proposals so far.

Deputies Carl Meerveld and Chris Blin have worked on two of them. 

One asks States Members to "reaffirm the previous decision to comprehensively repair the existing runway and, if they wish, to authorise additional improvements to future-proof facilities" but it would prevent work to lengthen the runway or to rebuild Alderney Airport's terminal building.

The second asks the Policy & Resources Committee to accept tenders from "smaller operators" when Aurigny's 2025 Public Service Obligation is up for renegotiation. Deputies Meervled and Blin said they want to ensure that "smaller operators are not precluded by the initial qualifying terms, noting that any operator must have adequate capital backing and operational reserves to secure the necessary resilience when applying to provide lifeline services."

Alderney guernsey 1948 agreement

Pictured: The 1948 Agreement means Guernsey is responsible for Alderney's airport and harbour.

The two Alderney representatives in the States of Guernsey have both been vocal about the need for the work to the airport, and both are expected to support Option C+ when the States of Guernsey debate it next week.

Alderney States Member Alex Snowdon has previously said that there is no issue more urgent for the island than its airport and runway.

"This has been discussed for years and now the runway is unsafe. Alderney just cannot afford to be without safe and regular air connections and it is Guernsey’s responsibility to help provide an airport fit for purpose."

Alderney States Member Steve Roberts is also likely to be working to encourage colleagues in Alderney to back Option C+, having previously said tried to persuade more to engage in meetings and presentations on the topic ahead of the debate. He said: "The whole picture needs to be seen and understood before any decision."


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FOCUS: Debate develops on Alderney runway proposals

Alderney runway extension makes “the most sense”

Aurigny considers taking Embraer jet out of its fleet

GALLERY: Public gather to discuss future of Alderney’s airport

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