The topic of a runway extension has sparked a lively debate within the community. The Committee for Economic Development has this week published their ‘Runway Extension Study Policy Letter’ based on careful consideration and analysis of various reports and factors.

Transparency and Comprehensive Policy: We commend the high standards of transparency demonstrated by the publication of a detailed and substantive policy letter, which includes reports by Frontier Economics, York Aviation, and Aecom. Such transparency allows for a more informed discussion among stakeholders.

Business Case: The development of the business case and cost-benefit analysis, as envisioned in the 2019 amendment, has faced challenges due to intervening events, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the adoption of Guernsey’s air policy framework for 2021-2026 to support Aurigny’s financial rehabilitation has further complicated the situation. These unforeseen circumstances have had a significant impact on the process.

Low Impact Option: Within this context, the Chamber recognises the substantial contribution of the Aecom report. This report outlines a low impact option to upgrade the runway to 1624m, while staying within the existing airport boundary. Importantly, this option can be implemented without the need to sacrifice any roads, houses, or fields. The proposed solution utilises the Engineered Material Arrestor System (EMAS), ensuring enhanced safety without significant disruption to the surrounding area.

Constrained Capital Environment: Considering the prevailing economic climate and limited financial resources, the Chamber accepts the committee’s conclusion that any investment in runway extension should be considered alongside the next resurfacing of the existing runway. By aligning these projects, there is the opportunity to optimise resources and minimise additional costs.

A Balanced Approach:
We support the need to optimise and plan for future demands, and we need to focus on the importance of responsible financial planning and minimising any adverse effects on the local community.

Ultimately, the goal should be to make informed decisions that benefit both the business community and the wider public while balancing the long-term sustainability of aviation links which are managed by the States Trading Supervisory Board.

You can read the full Runway Extension Study policy letter on the States of Guernsey website