Runway will be ‘won or lost on business case’

A BUSINESS case about the merits of extending the runway will be drawn up, the politician leading calls for the project has said

jankuttelwascher

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The runway is among 51 projects that will be battling it out for capital prioritisation over the next three years.

An estimated £30m. price tag has been put on the project, which would create a 1,720m. runway, slightly longer than Jersey’s.

Economic Development vice-president Deputy Jan Kuttelwascher, pictured, said the committee was waiting to hear how much money it would receive in order to prepare the business case. He believed there was a total of £5m. available for this type of work for  all the projects in the capital portfolio.

‘The case will be won or lost on the business case,’ he said. ‘We need to see what money is available.’

He said while the airlines serving the island remained hostile to the project, he had received plenty of support from colleagues.

Blue Islands has questioned the merits of the project, saying that any low-cost carrier that the longer runway might attract would want to compete with Aurigny on the Gatwick route, having a knock-on effect on the States-owned airline.

Comments for: "Runway will be ‘won or lost on business case’"

markB

I think both airline are right in what they say.

he says "Plenty of support from colleges" Mmmm!! I wonder who that could be?? does one of their names begin with Simon?

Wings

Of course the incumbent airlines will fight it. This might bring real competition and lower prices.

Alvin

"Might" is the word.

The problem is that it is a mighty big gamble of 30 million quid.

And the proponents of this scheme have not once identified a single new airline that would come into Guernsey if the runway was extended.

Simon V

African Al

It's a bigger gamble trying to get Aurigny to meet budget ,five years at £5M loss we are being told plus the £8 M Charles P has leftover from Airport budget and the much needed extension is paid for.

I note You have not been able to identify one airline who would not wish to operate on and extended runway Mr F .

jjlehto

Emirates probably wouldn't care about the extension. I understand Ryan Air need a longer runway than proposed. easyJet won't whilst the States owns Aurigny.

There is 3 for you!

Simon V

JJL hearsay !

Paul

Simon. Alvin is a creepy voyeur of our island lives in Switzerland pays no taxes in Guernsey, unable to vote nor contributes in any way to the well being of the island. Yet he insists on using words like 'we' and 'here' and feels , uses google to pretend he knows what is going on,he feels he can tell us what taxes we should pay and where they should be spent.

This forum is run by a local paper on a tiny island for islanders to discuss island issues why do we even give him space let alone respond?

Alvin

Simon.... Easyjet.... with or without a runway extension, they are not going to submit a new route application after the last fiasco with T & R... especially as two of the deputies responsible are still in government. BA... again with or without a runway extension they have no desire whatsoever to operate to Guernsey. Ryanair and Norwegian.... because even if you extended the runway to the same as Jersey's runway, their aircraft still won't be able to fly to Guernsey.

Aurigny ? Now that is a different subject : not to be confused with a runway extension. I think we both agree that serious mistakes have been made in recent years and the current losses, which look as if they will continue for the next few years despite promises to the contrary just three years ago, are unacceptable.

But, to be honest, although you, as a taxpayer, have to foot the bill, LGM does benefit very much from Aurigny's follies. New routes to Norwich, Leeds and London City, along with their existing routes to East Midlands, Stansted, Bristol, Manchester and, of course, Gatwick, give your clients reasonably priced options to get to Guernsey next Easter and Summer. Hotels like the LGM, which are not, in my opinion, over-priced for the product they offer contrary to the opinions of some people, do not need dirt cheap flights. Unfortunately the worsening sea-links and inter-island air-links are of a much graver concern.

Paul... Ich bin ein Islander. Born and brought up on the island. Were you ? If you want to know more about me, as you obviously do not know who I am, go and have a chat with Simon. He is a friendly, very likable chap at a very nice hotel along the west coast - although he does have the weirdest misconceptions about the necessity of a runway extension. Not sure why you are getting so upset about my opinions, maybe because you feel so ashamed and belittled that I know more about what is going on on Guernsey than you ? Or is it because I also know more about Switzerland than you !!

P S Simon... Actually, it should be Asian Al. I'll explain that one at a later time. :-)

Victor Meldrew

Interesting comment from Blue Islands there. So does that mean that other airlines have the capability to undercut the prices charged by Aurigny, Flybe and BI, and still make a profit ? If so, then it can only prove one thing, that we are being overcharged to maintain the inefficiency of our transport providers.

RobB

What kind of business case would that be...the private enterprise version or the States version!

Based on previous mistakes I am not sure anyone can have any faith in this business case.

GFC fan

Absolute YES to a runway extension!

Advantages for islanders, tourism and businesses, it's time to move Guernsey forward and not stagnate with unaffordable and inefficient transport connections.

It would be good to see business and tourism leaders band together and make their voice heard louder on this issue.

Alvin

Why ?

Give one reason why extend the runway.

Name one new airline that would fly to Guernsey if the runway was extended.

Sense

While I can see the pros and cons for the extension I think one of the main questions which hasn't been asked, or is not being answered is.

If the extension is given the go ahead will the states review the current licence system for route operation and allow an open skies policy?

If the answer to this is NO then there is no point even considering the extension. The states will not approve licences for carriers to operate on routes which would result in decrease revenue for Aurigny even if the routes isn't Gatwick. For example how about a Liverpool route? Great city but would directly impact the Manchester service.

Alvin

Well, Easyjet wanted to operate here on the Gatwick route, without any runway extension, but the door was slammed shut in their faces.

So, absolutely no point in extending the runway.

Captain Oveur

Lengthen it and add a Cat II approach onto the westerly runway.

Sceptic Reader

Good for you Jan keep up the fight. Only one thing for sure if you do not lengthen the runway you will continue with an overcharging and a loss making Airline, how many companies can continue to overcharge and lose money? Example: Fly tomorrow Friday 1 flight from Jersey Easyjet £58 with hold bag one way (its Thurs 16.45 as I write this) or Saturday 3 flights similar prices. Guernsey Gatwick tomorrow 3 at £160, 1 at £141 one way. I rest my case QED!! Jan ask the question - how full are these flights at these prices?? Guernsey people are stuffed both ways can’t go on the boat too unreliable and expensive. Can’t fly impromptu too expensive.

markB

I think Sense has got it right, what you are saying is all very well,but what happens when these cheap airlines pull out or reduce services for winter etc.?

Alvin

Yes SR - but that has nothing to do with the runway. Easyjet wanted to fly on the Guernsey - Gatwick route, without a runway extension, but T & R, including St Pier and Kuttelswascher, slammed the door in their faces !

Build the runway, waste 30 million and see air-fares rise in order to pay for the increased airport charges levied to try and recuperate some of the losses, with no new airlines coming in !

REGINALD

'All over again' yet another 'possible runway extension.! Now GFC fan, and 'plane spotters' before you become too excited, what about a few questions and answers, BEFORE spending so much money.? Jan K. please ,name any existing or potentially new flight operators who 'guarantee' to provide a service, at a reduced price, if/when the runway is extended to say the same as Jersey. ? Name, just one existing Operator who is enthusiastic about a runway extension.? They should know, they are in the business. !

Jersey will ALWAYS be the more favoured destination.! It has a much larger economy and a much larger population. JAN K. please 'put your thinking cap firmly ON. !!

GFC fan

Reginald.

I hear your above counter argument all the time: 'what airline will "guarantee" they will come here 'if' the runway is extended.

What airline is going to give these guarantees when there is no certainty that the runway will be extended. There never has been this certainty. Businesses want certainty and they don't want to be seen to be playing politics (usually!)

What is more, when the easy jet representative was interviewed on channel tv about four years ago, when they considered Guernsey, (I'm sure it's still in the archive or online somewhere) she said Guernsey was an 'interesting prospect" for them but the runway was too short at this current time.

Build it and they will come.

Wake up Guernsey, it's time to do away with the naysayers and build the infrastructure that will inject new money into our economy.

REGINALD

Your enthusiasm is obvious GFC fan. Hence, I assume that you will also be prepared to 'invest' your own money, if a suitable 'financial structure' was established, whereby, 'dividends would be paid to investors, calculated on 'the actual increased profits' generated by and attributable to 'the increased runway length. ?

Alvin

This is the exactly the nonsensical attitude one should not take. "Build it and they will come!" Who will come ?? Answer Reginald's question !

Easyjet made a license application for the Gatwick route. They wanted to fly here. Without a runway extension. They withdrew that application because of T & R stating that they have to protect Aurigny on that route, ( especially after Aurigny had just invested heavily in a new aircraft.

The fact of the matter is... build it and no one new will come. Result : 30 million quid wasted. Higher airport charges. Higher air-fares.

jjlehto

"Build it and they will come"...to laugh at us for spending 30mio on a runway extension.

Simon V

JJL Jersey already laughing at us for not extending

GM

Simon V

Jersey is losing £140m a year and hurtling towards bankruptcy unless they stop spending recklessly.

If Jersey are laughing then they possibly haven't understood the joke.

Chris

And we are laughing at you Simon for being so obsessed with the runway. That's as well as spouting off on Radio Guernsey about the big States conspiracy to close down the visitor economy. Laughable for sure.

Reduced your room rates yet Simon?

Simon V

GM Jersey are growing arrivals by air and doing rather well as are other airports in UK lengthening their runways and investing in their infrastructure.

Here in Guernsey we are contracting by 3% on air arrivals

Recently petition of 3000 local signatories was handed in complaining about cost of flights perhaps you missed it ?

One can only hope that Stuart Falla and Lyndon Trott are successful in their review of Aurigny I'm sure we all wish them the best in their endeavours.

Alvin

Simon... Passenger traffic to and from Guernsey Airport so far this year is just under 1 per cent down on last year, or 6132 less passengers in and out.

There were 8249 less passengers on the Alderney and Jersey routes - which means that on routes further afield there was a slight increase in passenger numbers !

The most severe decline in passenger numbers has been on the inter-island routes - do you really need to extend the runway to address that matter ??

GM

Simon V

The States of Jersey are apparently paying an annual subsidy to Easyjet which is of a greater magnitude than Aurigny's losses in 2014. That's why Easyjet's flights to/from Jersey are so cheap, which in turn drives down the cost of BA's competing flights. So yes, their air arrivals figures are growing, and yes, those extra visitor numbers actually have somewhere to stay.

Digest that.

And watch what happens when that subsidy to Easyjet comes to an end. It's completely unsustainable.

davegorvel

Where are all the hotels and other accommodation for these passengers..

GM

No budget airline is going to come, even with a runway extension.

Why not? Because we've lost so much of our hotel bed stuck that there would be nowhere for the extra potential tourists to stay! Until about 1,000 new hotel beds are added this is a complete non-starter.

So many posters want to see a budget airline come in because they want cheap flights to get off the island, without appreciating that the real key to this is not island residents using it to get off the island (which contributes zero to the island economy), but the ability to attract new tourists, which would boost the economy. Without hotel beds to sleep in, visitors are not going to be coming.

The budget airlines are not stupid. Their own feasibility studies will very quickly draw the same conclusion.

markB

spot on again GM

Simon V

GM I am delighted to read that you wish to build a 500 bedroom hotel on the Island and perhaps now is your chance to get some bond money to build it ! You could have Alvin to manage it and Mark B working for you as well !

You could call it El Whingo !

markB

La Grande Twit sounds better to me

GM

Simon V

Have you been overdosing on the Vazon vraic again?

Meanwhile, here in the real world there seems to be more sense being spoken about the non-viability of lengthening the runway.

Chris

Simon is a one trick pony. The runway runway runway, oh and Easyjet as well. He wants Aurigny to lower their fares so that he can sell more overpriced rooms.

Give it a rest.

Simon V

GM how viable is £ 4.6 M loss being posted this year by Aurigny then ?

Guernseys own airline hasn't really worked out very well ,with the re brand too ,£5 M loss next year or then it could be £3M over budget like this year.

No ,quite clearly those losses are unsustainable for the Guernsey tax payer to be asked to bear all the time.

The £552 return to Gatwick isn't exactly great value either.

Chris you need to go back to School and learn to count. Recently I've been concerned about IDP implications for the Tourism industry,the inflation busting minimum wage rise and immigration policy too.

I'm unashamedly pro Guernsey runway extension -long overdue and welcome investment in our infrastructure. Routes and fares also concern me but maybe that's a discussion for another day.

Fellas ,with regard your negative take and reasoning against the inevitable runway extension , your arguments seem to be obsessed with the arguments of yesterday.

Time has moved on, in Guernsey we live in a progressive ( apart from Alvin) society and in the last 14 months visits to the Island by air and sea are 82,000 down. Tourism in Guernsey is down in Jersey it's up .

Perhaps they are more intelligent than us ?

GM

Simon V

Aurigny's very disturbing losses aren't sustainable at all, but that's down to gross mismanagement by Mark Darby, who needs to be jettisoned now before he does any more damage. Aurigny had and still has a vital role to play, but that role is not to try to become a major UK regional airline by throwing money recklessly at highly speculative routes.

I have regularly questioned your business acumen and once again you are living up to my expectations. There is no viable business case whatsoever for a runway extension.

Please do your research re Jersey, which is digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself. Its finances are in an appalling mess. If can hardly be a surprise that their visitor numbers are up when the States of Jersey are throwing a huge annual sum Easyjet's way to waive landing fees and to pay the airline'so advertising budget for the route, using money which Jersey doesn't have. That's why we are doing around £200m a year better than Jersey in our annual accounts on a like for like basis. They are being reckless, while we are being prudent, but you want to copy them? And you're a businessman? Ah but it's much easier when it's just spending taxpayers' money isn't it Simon?

And why are Easyjet able to make the Jersey route work for them? It's because of what I've been telling you ad nauseum for the last few months. Jersey has lots of hotel bed capacity, which we don't. Jersey can meet the extra demand created by the Easyjet passengers. Guernsey can't. It's very simple. In fact so simple that even a simple simpleton from Vazon should be able to understand it. But I'm clearly over-estimating your intelligence.

markB

Spot on once again GM

Alvin

I have to contradict GM in saying that budget airlines could be interested in flying to Guernsey, regardless of how big or small Guernsey's bed stock is, as Easyjet were very interested in flying on the Gatwick route as that has currently a very attractive market of 300+ thousand passengers per year. And when they made the route application, there were no conditions attached for Guernsey to extend the runway.

But we all know what happened and why they withdrew the application.

However, Simon has got it all wrong yet again. Arrivals are down purely because of a drop in arrivals by sea and inter-island air services. Passenger traffic on air-routes to the UK are slightly up compared to 2015, as are to other international destinations.

Not sure why Simon keeps on mentioning Aurigny in relation to the subject of the runway extension. What would he prefer ? No Aurigny and a longer runway ?? How on earth would his guests get to the LGM next year if there are no flights from Leeds, Manchester, Stansted, London City, East Midlands, Norwich, and Bristol - AND worsening sea-links and over-priced flights from Jersey ??

Would they all drive down to Gatwick to catch an Easyjet flight ??

And Simon ridicules others and claims that Guernsey will become a more progressive society after wasting 30 million quid on an unnecessary runway extension that will simply increase the financial burden on the island ??

Simon's having a laugh !!

GM

Alvin

We aren't quite on the same page.

You say that Easyjet were interested in the Gatwuck route because it carries 300k passengers a year. But I'm not for one moment believing that the States would agree to give up the island's slot security at Gatwick. Easyjet would have to compete with Aurigny on the route, and there's no way that the States would then also give Easyjet the route subsidy (which Jersey gave them) that Easyjet would demand, to compete on the same route.

That's why there just wouldn't be any worthwhile growth in passenger numbers. For that to happen there needs to be hotel bed capacity to absorb passenger growth, and that just isn't likely.

There is also no way that the States will risk Easyjet running just a summer seasonal service, leaving us abandoned in winter, or risk is being left with two off-peak time daily round-trip Easyjet rotations to Gatwick, which is what happened in the Isle of Man. Aurigny is therefore here to stay on the Gatwick route, which is the very reason why it was purchased by the States. If anything, the need for that route security is even stronger than it was then.

Why

BA and Easyjet can fly here with the current runway length.

Easyjet actually wanted to fly here, but the States said no.

How will the answer change to a yes with a longer runway? The only realistic option is to make Aurigny profitable, without increasing fares.

Prospero

Exactly Alvin

Just who will come ? The Chinese, who we are constantly being told are champing at the bit to bring their secret, state siphoned money here, the Stay-Cationers that are just waiting for a new runway so they can bring their buckets and spades over.

This is of course sheer lunacy - but, it will happen, I am certain. Its just too easy. Easy to spend Other Peoples Money.

And it will not stop at a £30m runway - there will be add ons. Revamped duty free area, VIP area and all the other high gloss nonsense in order to soothe the P&R egos.

And then....Venice Beach, Blue Lagoon...whatever this weeks brochure name is for the soon to come Belegreve Bay make-over.

Why would politicians, whose loyalty is to the finance centre, where their own business interests lie, baulk at gambling with our money.

They seem to think we compare and aspire to Singapore, Hong Kong, Canary Wharf - but in fact we are more akin to Shetland, Isle of Wight, Falklands etc

I fully expect the "business case" to be found in favour of the Spend Spend Party no matter what common sense and sanity says.

Very tough times ahead.

My advice is to try your best to reduce any debt you may have, save as much as you can and also think about forward buying non-perishable essentials in order to beat GST.

Guernsey as we knew it is soon to disappear.

100% Donkey

Prospero

Totally agree. I haven't heard the Brexit word on here once. There should be a total freeze on non-essential (and I mean just that) for the rest of this political term.

Sadly there is zero understanding of what probably lies ahead. It is highly likely that the UK will experience a 'hard' Brexit and for those on here who have no knowledge of our finance sector, that ain't good news.....

As already mentioned above, our tourist industry in nowhere - it's all over. Alvin (and others) question which airlines are going to come. I would question which passengers are going to come !!!

Master B

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-guernsey-24627129

Waste of money, it shouldn't even be discussed.

St Pier to blame

Island Wide Voting

So he has failed to make you happy?

Master B

IWV

Yes he has along with a great number of the population of Guernsey

100% Donkey

Me included.

I'll give him merit for his Christian Aid comment but he needs to cut spending.

See my comment at 10.36 above.

Prospero

100% Donkey

There was an interesting interview of Jim Rodgers (George Soro's partner in Quantum Fund infamy) on Radio 4 news just after 1pm today.

Rogers is one of the most important and knowledgeable investors in the world. He believes that the UK (including The City) are up a certain creek - especially if Scotland becomes independent and takes the oil revenues with them.

He certainly hasn't and certainly will not invest in UK / England as they are a basket case. He certainly expects "hard" Brexit and that the UK / England is going to suffer for it.

The City will experience a flight of capital, jobs and knowhow - and it ain't coming here.

But - this almost certain collapse of UK / England economy, far from being a salutary warning / fear for our politicos will almost certainly cause them to press the Gamble button and embark on lunacy projects. As far as they are concerned it is Shinola or Bust. And it's only Other Peoples Money.

Our bunch of amateurs of course know best - they will fight against all reason, all advice, all common sense. If it wasn't so serious it would be comical - a farce that we all will have paid for seats to watch.

Come next election / culling they will be gone and their personal wealth will protect them from the social depravation that is heading our way. So why would they care ?

Watch the bulk of the Bond money placed on the wheel - Casino Government.

GM

Prospero

Yet the EU is now wanting to go ahead with a Financial Transactions Tax which will drive a lot more business to London post-Brexit!

Beanjar

I am amazed that even our useless government is wasting time on this piece of stupidity. Hasn't the island got enough real problems to deal with? Seriously, they are considering spending a fortune on a senseless vanity project just because they have that £330 Million bond money burning a hole in their pockets? Absolutely pathetic. Even if they built it, then what? There is no guarantee that any other airline with bigger planes would even use it. Even if they did, they would just put Aurigny out of business at massive public cost. Then what? We would be completely at their mercy. If they choose to run one flight a day with 100% seat occupancy, who could blame them? And of course, they will charge whatever they like. £500 returns anybody? This is absolutely frivolous nonsense, a guaranteed Lose/Lose if I ever heard one.

Insider

Its not the entire Government looking at this though is it.. just one politician with a bee in his bonnett..

Alvin

Well said Beanjar... what amazes me is that this topic is actually being raised again. And, Insider, if one deputy, who has a few sympathizers in the States, proceeds he will be wasting more States time and resources as they will have to go through all the motions of researching and debating the subject ! Again.

Insider

Sadly that is the way our system of government works...

Beanjar

Yes, one motivated crank with a bee in his bonnet, a bunch of nodding dog deputies who can't be bothered to argue and voila! - another £30 Million straight down the bog. Exactly what happened with Burford. And that was before Gav had £330 Million to splash around as quickly as possible so he gets less flack for needlessly borrowing it in the first place.

ricklowe08

Beanjar

If elected in the Vale by election this newbie Deputy would fight tooth and nail not to to extend our runway and squander another 30/40 Million of taxpayers hard earned.

I hugely resent the cost of revisiting this vanity/legacy based nonsense. To me it indicates a 'show pony' desire to be doing something in the absence of anything sensible to contribute.

Toby

The only reason a longer runway would be of interest to any airline is the ability to use a larger aircraft.

Since there is little need for greater capacity ( as has been pointed out again and again there is nowhere for any extra passengers to stay on the island ) it would inevitably lead to a reduced frequency of service, and possibly less choose of destinations than we currently enjoy.

To all those proposing a longer runway : Does a larger vessel leading to a reduced frequency of service to fewer destinations remind anybody of any other transport provider serving the islands ? How is that working out for you ?

rosie

Toby. That's a good example that everyone should be able to understand. Personally, I really don't think that they will be able to show a business case for extending the runway.... its a ridiculous suggestion for several reasons as pointed out on here, so I'm not too worried about it.

Another point that hasn't been made (I don't think) is that companies like Easy Jet work be keeping their planes busy and in the air as much as possible and that depends on the company being ruthless about their whole operating structure working together. The minute there is a problem with an aircraft in one place, they pull one out of a marginal route to replace it according to a representative from Easy Jet who was over here recently and he also said that Guernsey would be that marginal route. Is that the kind of uncertain service we want?

Easy Jet operating from here is just a non-starter. We would have to subsidies it to get the low fares like Jersey are doing which would be incredibly costly and we would lose Aurigny. We would be better off just giving the money straight to Aurigny.

davegorvel

Agree with Toby/ Rosie

There are many planes late morning and afternoon coming in half or less empty.

Could not the Hotels and airlines do some late minute.com together.

In all the years I have been doing tours or taxi work, not one person has told me they did not like Guernsey itself.

A few days ago one lady from Australia on a tour who came to Guernsey in 2012 to research her Great grandfathers history here. The lady fell in love with our island and has been coming back each summer.

Same as the 5 I took back from Le Nautigue to St Pierre Park for 25 years missing last year and opoligising for that miss.

Island Wide Voting

I agree with just about everyone on this thread ... it should be a non-starter BUT is there a flaw in the States Committee set up which could give it legs?

IF this reaches the Assembly for debate amongst our 40 deputies and Alderney reps there is a possibility that 14 of them may be obliged to abstain due to their membership of involved Committees such as Envo,Planning,Trading and Supervisory and Transport Licensing ( some deputies are on more than one of those bodies)

That leaves 26 deputies with no committee ties to a multi million airport extension scheme which means that Kuttlewascher and his seconder would only need twelve 'pours' to carry it through ... fewer if some of our deputies continue to arrange to be away on States business on Assembly days

Alvin

That is indeed a frightening thought !

REGINALD

If GFC fan, and Simon V. are so convinced that an 'extended runway, will be an undoubted success just how much of their own money, are the prepared to 'invest' if it is decided to 'fund the costs' by a Public Bond Issue, and not from the taxation money pot. ?

Insider

There is zero evidence that extending the runway will improve the links out of this island. EasyJet were only interested in providing a seasonal service to LGW.. Not much benefit to the island as Aurigny would just suffer bigger losses.

markB

Has any states member asked any airline whether they would be intrested?

tothevale

There might - and it's a big 'might' - one day be a reason to extend the runway to allow more charter flights.

Before we go anywhere near that discussion far more can be done at current transport level. Condor, Gatwick and inter-island. These need all fixing first in terms of pricing an scheduling.

There's also another discussion to be had about the performance of Visit Guernsey and our own product offering.

Pouring more concrete isn't going to fix any of the above in the short- to medium-term