ECONOMIC growth and job creation come with a longer runway, the Chamber of Commerce has said.
As a business case into doing the work is put forward, Chamber said this should happen as soon as possible because it would ‘deliver significant options to Guernsey’.
Other destinations have already invested in longer runways – described by Chamber as a ‘brave investment decision’.
‘Aberdeen and Birmingham have in recent years undertaken runway extensions. While the impacts are yet to be properly measured, they expect to report lower ticket prices for travellers, higher volumes of tourism visitors, increased long-haul traffic, additional employment and growth to GDP and improved reliability of their business transport links.
‘Such outcomes are also critical for Guernsey’s immediate future, its competitiveness, its ability to attract further inward investment and, indeed, the island’s ongoing economic sustainability.’
An estimated £30m. is needed to fund the project, which would see the runway extended from its current 1,583 metres to 1,720 metres – slightly longer than Jersey’s.
It would mean, Chamber said, cheaper tickets, improved reliability, along with energising growth in tourism, business travel and ‘underpin the successful development of our nascent digital sector’, along with having safety benefits.
‘An extension of 120m on to the current runway, plus a grass 240m run-off safety area at the east end, will extend the operational length runway to 1,700 metres for use in both directions,’ said Chamber.
‘This will then allow ubiquitous regional aircraft fleets of Boeing and Airbus to fly into Guernsey without the economic handicaps of weight restrictions.’