IoD chairman: States needs to 'get to grips' with air licensing

THE States needs to ‘get to grips’ with the right way to manage the island's air transport licensing system, according to the Institute of Directors.

Institute of Directors Guernsey branch chairman Mark Palfrey.
Institute of Directors Guernsey branch chairman Mark Palfrey.

THE States needs to ‘get to grips’ with the right way to manage the island's air transport licensing system, according to the Institute of Directors.

IoD chairman Mark Palfrey said that a clearer direction for route licensing was a priority for his organisation in the coming year.

Mr Palfrey said that while he accepted many islanders would be happy with increased States protection for Aurigny on its Gatwick service, such a policy was not making the most of the asset of the airport for the island.

‘People living in Guernsey see their airline as their convenience for getting to Gatwick for business or leisure or as a connection for their onward travel.

‘But we want to attract investment into Guernsey and for the airport to be a net contributor to the Guernsey economy. We want to make it easier for people who will bring wealth into the island to find us and come to see us.

‘We need to preserve our investment in our airline but also make best use of the investment made in the airport and the runway. It should do more than support a single carrier but how do we attract external investors to make use of the facilities here?’

Mr Palfrey said that there were also concerns that Guernsey could become merely a connection for Jersey airport rather than a hub in itself. ‘We don't want to lose business that way.’