A vision for the future of a thriving island playing a crucial part in the growth of the Bailiwick economy – that’s the conclusion of the States of Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee (P&F) after listening to a variety of views about the future of its runway and airport.
After talking to air transport providers and the Alderney Chamber of Commerce, P&F has underscored its support for what is known as ‘Option C+’ – an extended runway and airport infrastructure improvements.
The key benefits are seen as:
- An additional 20,000 seats per year provided by larger ATR aircraft would be a catalyst to inject much-needed business and tourism into the Island economy, thus providing a significant economic enabler for Alderney and the Bailiwick.
- With the recent increase in the use of medevac flights off the island using Aurigny’s Dorniers, it is also clear that Alderney needs a dedicated medevac service in line with Guernsey and Jersey. A longer runway would enable this vital service.
- The Alderney-Southampton route is a vital lifeline service not just for business and tourism but also for healthcare.
- Savings that would be achieved by using one type of fleet aircraft would make Alderney services more financially sustainable in the future.
- The additional costs of extending the runway and improving the Airport infrastructure would be offset in the longer-term as the costs to the Bailiwick through subsidies would be reduced, along with subsequent environmental benefits.
Ian Carter, Chairman of Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee, said: “This is a crucial payback to the Bailiwick that P&F wishes to emphasise as our friends at the States of Guernsey consider the way ahead.
“Option C+ will save money in the long-term and Alderney as part of the Bailiwick will benefit from increased numbers of visitors and people wanting to live here, thus boosting the economy and contributing more in tax. And I can’t emphasise enough the importance of a dedicated medevac service run separately to Aurigny that would bring us in line with modern health services to remote communities.
“We are in regular discussions with Aurigny, the States Trading Supervisory Board, Guernsey Ports and the States of Guernsey about all of these matters.”
Other advantages include the valuable options of future technologies, the evolution of which is uncertain in terms of form and timing as and when they become available, regardless of which carrier introduces it.
It would also reduce Alderney’s risk as it relates to potential future changes in regulatory dispensation on Alderney airport’s security measures, and broadens the range of aircraft types that can operate to or from Alderney and reduces the reliance on the limited types ofprivate and commercial aircraft that can operate here.
The runway extension concept, with associated improvements to the taxiway, apron, terminal building and fire station, received widespread backing from the Alderney community and business leaders when it was presented at a public drop-in event earlier this year.
Alderney Chamber of Commerce has also expressed its support for the proposed runway extension project