‘Don’t extend the runway, just move the whole airport’

FORGET building just a longer runway, one local pilot has said. Instead, move the entire airport to reclaimed land off Mont Cuet.


As a new debate on lengthening the runway looks set to take off, Max Carling said now was the time to consider an altogether bolder approach to the future of air links.

He has suggested that the States reclaim some land off Mont Cuet and sell the current airport site.

This would alleviate the reoccurring problem of fog that has plagued the airport recently, he said.

‘The one thing that is really important is that we get the airport in the right place.

‘You do not get the cloud at sea level like you do at the airport, or 40mph fog as we call it.

‘At times, when you cannot see your hand in front of your face, if you drive down to L’Ancresse, you can see for 100 miles.’

Power for the terminal could be generated using methane from the landfill site, he said, and, if Jersey dredged its harbour, Guernsey could take the resulting silt and use it.

Comments for: "‘Don’t extend the runway, just move the whole airport’"


My Pops (former RAF engineer and then British European engineer based in Guernsey) said the same thing to me almost 20 years ago.


Head in the clouds? or a local pilot with no understanding of cost , Plus if we can see for a 100 miles from L’Ancresse why can't we see Brighton or the Isle of wight from Guernsey?? I think it has something to do with the curvature of the Earth, which a pilot will know all about ......I hope!!

Fog!! what about, as has happed recently the island is surrounded by the stuff yet the airport is clear??


Seriously? if it is going to cost £30m to extend the tarmac a bit at the current site, how much to reclaim the land, build all new runways, taxiways, a terminal, a fire station etc etc?

Not to mentioned the impact on wildlife and sea currents.


Oh please God no...


Mont Cuet is simply too small. Too much of the runway and taxiways would have to be extended into the sea that the total cost would be so prohibitive. 15 years ago they were estimating costs of 350 million ??

What would the cost be now ?? 0.5 billion ??

What would the value of the current airport be ? 100 million ? 200 million ? Even if 300 million then there is still a shortfall of a couple of hundred million.

No point in even thinking about it.

John West

It's not too small, we can reclaim all the land we like (apparently!)

Let's just put the airport, incinerator, recycling sorting centre, more housing and anything else. The North is almost empty anyway, plenty of room for all!


Interesting concept... could make it multi level... just hope they put the runways on the top level though :-)

i wondor

Better still, lets move the island to a sunnier climate with less fog and warmer days... or maybe we should just get all the islands hairdressers to plait the fog so as to move it out the way?

Seems everyday there's another idiotic scheme popping up from the heads of people whose single lonely brain cell clearly can't cope with them sitting upright, and talking at the same moment in time...


Have you not seen the sea fog that regularly envelops the coast Mr Carling? This is not a good argument. Added to the fact that the aircraft would have to dodge the chimney stacks at the power station as well as avoid cranes located at St Sampson harbour oh and the fuel depot located at one side! hmm not such a great location really.


Agree with the idea in theory... however in the real world that's going to cost a damn fortune.


I think the idea of extending the runway is madness - what they really should be spending their money on is dealing with the fog issues. Fog has been particularly bad this year but it surely must be adversely affecting both business and tourism to the Island. I would have said that this is a significant priority over and above attracting Easyjet here. I have landed in other airports in thick fog and there are navigation systems now that allow most planes to land in foggy conditions. I am not sure if it would work for Dorniers or Trislanders but it should work for the Embraer Jet and maybe even the ATRs. So Mr Carling is right to highlight the need to do something about the fog, even if I don't agree with his idea of a Boris Island style new airport itself at Mont Cuet - but the point he is really making is that someone needs to spend money to deal with the fog issue as this is the real issue affecting our links with the UK and other places.


MnN ...why not just give the fog a jolly good telling off, then hopefully it won't come back here again!!


Or buy some really big fans to blow it away ;-)

Captain Oveur

McN you are correct that there are enhanced ILS systems which allow approaches in lower visibility. These are Cat 2 & Cat 3. We have Cat 1, which for most of the time is sufficient.

Interestingly our runway isn't long enough for Cat 2 or 3 as they require not only the "navigation systems" but also a lot more lights on the approach AND on the Tarmac itself. Our Tarmac isn't long enough as if we put these lights in they would extend into the area of colour coding lights which tell the pilots they are nearing the end of the runway!

It was a point raised during the last lot of works.


My understanding is that an improved ILS would require 500m of completely clear and flat land on each approach to obtain the required radar readings which bounce off that flat land.

If that is indeed the case, can anybody seriously see it happening?

John West

Simple as that eh! Where are we going to get the money for that?

How are we going to just write off the recent £80m Lagan works, plus the new terminal building a few years before that?


If you have any spare money trees about Mr. Carling, I suggest you let States Works take a few cuttings as we're going to need it!

Roger Irrelevant

"It's good, but it's not quite Carling" - oh it is.

John West

Thought about posting something like that but didn't want to draw attention to such a repulsive excuse for a beer.

Roger Irrelevant


Yes I do apologise about that, I couldn't resist. It was either that or suggest that we plough £ squillions into researching Teleportation, but I don't want to pre-empt tomorrow's GEP headline.


As a pilot with over 25 years experience - lots of it around the Channel Islands - I agree that the airport would have been better situated on the coast ... L'Ancresse being the obvious best place.

However the huge cost and logistics issues that would entail now if it were to be seriously considered, would be astronomical .... and all this when the public purse is being tightened up and the outcome of the referendum being so uncertain.

Normally the fog is around the Spring but has extended into summer - maybe this is just part of the slowly changing world weather patterns.

I've no idea of the cost (several million for sure), but a better option would be to make the airfield a Category 2 airfield - if this was feasible.

Currently we are a Category 1 airfield.

Category 1 means that an aircraft can fly down to a visibility of 550 metres with a decision to 'go around' at 200 feet.

Category 2 would enable a suitably equipped aircraft (of which most commercial aircraft are) to fly down to a visibility of approximately 300 metres and a 'go around' decision height of approximately 100 feet.

However it would take a lot of money to do this - which might also include extending the runway a degree - but that cost would have to be weighed up against the number of days that our fog causes problems.

If only the authorities in the 1930s could have seen this problem .....!


So why did they put the airport where it is?

Devil's Advocate

Maybe L'Eree wasn't big enough?

Island Wide Voting

Isn't it strange how often two unrelated stories in the Press can meld so easily into one ...

Page 7 today 'Move the airport' and on page 5 'Cut in number of mental health in-patient beds'

Victor Meldrew

Should've left it where it was originally, at L'Eree. Apparently it was only a 26/25 vote in the States that got it moved, just in time for the Germans to land there...

Island Wide Voting


I bet it was one the early Kuttelwaschers wot swung it

poor little alfie

mr carling has never understood an island landscape, an island history, an island culture, or an island's fundamental nature and personality. guernsey's fundamental character is its coastal landscape which is far more than its interior. its kind of obvious, no? do you park at chouet or bordeaux and gaze inland? like the belle greve and havelet plotters and other tunnel visioned profit chasers, mr carling wishes to square off all the island's remaining beaches, bays, headlands, inlets, shingle banks, thereby obliviating all the natural environment contained therein and have us gaze out to sea ... at more concrete and glass. mr carling does not get guernsey, he does not get islands. he does not get what it means to be an island inhabitant, and who may have been one for either one or a dozen generations, and who would be happy to be a little poorer in the purse and thereby preserve the true intrinsic character, the core, the undercoat, the actual granite underpinning of this island and its coastal landscape. mr carling understands nothing of this. this island, because of its geographical position and climatic characteristics, comes with fog - always did, always will. get used to it or go away.


Better stupid idea, how about an underwater tunnel to Jersey and get rid of our runaway altogether, just as crazy as moving the airport.

Mr Carling, time for your medicine I believe.


Even stupid idea - build a bridge! One to Jersey, one to the UK and one to France.

The we can do away with this silly airport idea all together! (and stuff Condor!)

Victor Meldrew

Actually something similar to that is already being done. The Russians are now building the Kerch Straits road/rail bridge to Crimea to bypass Ukraine, an idea first thought of by uncle Adolf. All the States have to do is to find a spare 5 billion+.

100% Donkey

A ridiculous idea that isn't worth printing !!


Another move to enforce the north south divide! Put all the rubbish down the vale so the fat non Guernsey cats in the south can get rid of the noise of planes flying over their pad thereby inflating the realty of their property further.


Does it hurt carrying that massive chip on your shoulder around all the time?


Do you want salt and vinegar on your chips Felix.


Its a shame the boneheads of the day built the airport in the foggiest part of the Island in the first place. Not too dissimilar to the boneheads of the last but 1 States who didn't lengthen the runway when Lagan were here.

just love it all

Could use the £40 million Guernsey gets paid from Alderney's internet gaming tax for this.....or spend it on developing Alderney, a much wiser choice and the right thing to do!


or simply legalise on-line Gambling in Guernsey

Devil's Advocate

They won't do that as long as finance is still the main industry. Can't be advertising the islands as a safe, well-regulated finance centre whilst allowing online gambling.


Better still just move Guernsey closer to the U.K. and build a bridge.


Does Mr. Carling live near the Airport, by chance?