Alderney runway issue ‘sidelined’

ALDERNEY’S need for a runway extension has been sidelined, the president of the island’s Chamber of Commerce has said, as he and an Alderney politician said ‘unmanageable’ transport links were making local businesses unsustainable.

alderneyairport

During Economic Development’s recent appearance at a Scrutiny hearing, committee president Peter Ferbrache rejected the idea of extending Alderney’s runway, claiming it would bring no extra benefits to Alderney.

This comes off the back of an independent report by York Aviation that said extending Alderney’s runway would not be financially justifiable.

Andrew Eggleston, president of the Alderney Chamber of Commerce, felt the island’s interests had been put on the back-burner.

‘Another succinct response from a Guernsey politician – the result of which can only keep Alderney in the background,’ he said. ‘We consider the recent York Aviation report into this gave the answer that Guernsey had been wanting.

‘The widening of our runway, however, to 23 metres will be a good positive start as that will assist with crosswind capability with the southerly winds that seem to be more prevalent in recent years.’

Alderney States member Louis Jean said transport issues ‘would continue to worsen’ without intervention.

‘Plane fares are rising every year and it is now around £120 just to get to Guernsey, and I believe those increases will continue without bigger planes because of customer resistance and there being less seats available,’ he said.

Comments for: "Alderney runway issue ‘sidelined’"

TAFF

But will extending the runway mean fewer flights in larger aircraft?

How many passengers a day are there now - on average - and how many are expected with larger aircraft?

And how long will it take to recoup the cost of the extension? Or the widening?

And what are the advantages of widening only., and the costs?

And why are these facts not known and published? I suspect that a real business case does not exist, and this is more wishful thinking. Nice idea - but?

No doubt that Alderney has travel problems by air and sea, and has had for many years. So why do those responsible not put together valid business cases for improving them. Not a load of talk, but facts - or best estimates at least. And laid out clearly so that we can all understand. .

And the simple fact that no such business case has been prepared leads to the suspicion that the costs far outweigh the potential benefits. Nor is it difficult to do, but, without it, no public money should be spent..

Neil Harvey

The misconception that a longer runway has wasted 4 years, during which time our runway has been reduced in width to 18 meters and the surface has deteriorated daily as more and more of it is swept up as FOD. The States of Alderney now need to really get behind a push to encourage Guernsey to get on with the essential work of widening back to 23 meters, full resurface, and installation of centre line lighting. More delay and argument over wishful thinking could cost us the whole airport.

Please get on with it!

Neil Harvey

The misconception that a longer runway will sort out all our problems has wasted 4 years, during which time our runway has been reduced in width to 18 meters and the surface has deteriorated daily as more and more of it is swept up as FOD. The States of Alderney now need to really get behind a push to encourage Guernsey to get on with the essential work of widening back to 23 meters, full resurface, and installation of centre line lighting. More delay and argument over wishful thinking could cost us the whole airport.

Please get on with it!

TAFF

So is it lengthening, or widening, or maintaining it? And who decides? And how is such a ridiculous state of affairs possible for one of the most important parts of Alderney? Who is responsible within SofA? Lots of words, but no action..

Is it only SofG? If so, why has it been allowed? And what are the potential costs? Just a simple ball=park figure? Why not get it done, and then bill SofG, having told them what you intend?

As for wasting 4 years, I seem to remember saying something similar at the time, but no-one was listening.

Alvin

The repairs to Alderney's runway are indeed essential and that should be immediately carried out. But an extension would be of no benefit.

If the runway is repaired, then the airport could accommodate the existing small passenger aircraft that are being operated in the UK... the Islander, Dornier 228, Let 410, Twin Otter etc etc.

A runway extension would basically be a complete rebuild of the runway - up to 1200 - 1300 metres could be possible but would need a lot of additional land being purchased, re-alignment of the flightpath, new navigational aids and lighting, enlarging and strengthening of the taxiways and aprons, extension and upgrading the terminal and ancillary services, such as security, fire services...

We are talking about almost a brand new airport ! Cost ? £50 million ? £ 80 million ? More ??

Why ?

Because whilst the above-listed aircraft can operate into Alderney with its existing runway length, the next step up in passenger aircraft are basically the Saab 340/2000s, ATR 42s and 72s, Dash 8s etc etc. These aircraft take 48 - 78 passengers but need a much longer and stronger runway as well as all the other facilities of a larger airport.

And it still would not do any good for Alderney. Back in its heyday, Alderney used to attract 80000 passengers a year, now it has fallen to around 57000. Two daily rotations from Alderney to Guernsey using the smaller ATR42s would give an annual seat capacity of almost 70000 ! Using ATR72s, then over 100000 ! Alderney would land up having just two daily flights to Guernsey and none to Southampton, or, if the ATR42s were used, maybe a three times a week route to Southampton.

Better for Alderney Airport is just to repair the runway and encourage more flights to more destinations such as a Jersey and a Cherbourg route.

So... any news on Air Alderney ??

TAFF

Well said Alvin. Makes a lot of sense. And John Cadoret and Co had similar ideas, and got support from the public, but not from SofA. And so we continue to decline.

Who breaks the log jam? Harvey? I suspect not. .

blomen

I'd love to visit Alderney but for the same money as flying there I could travel to 5-6 other interesting places in Europe.

Why isn't any effort being put into a viable ferry service? I assume this has been asked a million times but I can't find many clear answers.