Chamber president: Lengthen runway and back our airlines

ECONOMIC Development’s plans to look at extending the airport runway have earned strong support from the president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Martyn Dorey

A vote at the Institute of Directors’ mid-term meeting earlier this month showed that a strong majority of those in attendance thought that if taxpayers’ money was going to be spent, it should be on supporting and enhancing existing connections.

But there was backing from Chamber president Martyn Dorey, who said it should not be a choice between enhancing what we have or extending the runway, but that the island should aspire to both.

‘I’m not particularly keen on seeing green fields concreted over, but you have to look at Guernsey’s future and it is a sensible move for the island,’ he said.

‘It will provide a range of new options for business off the island, and businesses on island, if they can come here on the same aircraft as they use for anywhere else.

‘It will also open up our tourism market.’

Mr Dorey also said extending the runway would send a good signal to overseas businesses that the government was keen to keep the island up to date.

‘It will send a signal to the global market that we want to position ourselves at as a destination in our own right – not just as an appendage to Jersey.

‘Obviously there are concerns over the costs, and it will have to be done cost efficiently, but we are here and now and we have to push for good infrastructure.’

Confederation of Guernsey Industry chairman Clive McMinn said its initial reaction to the idea of extending the runway was a no, but it was open to discussion.

Comments for: "Chamber president: Lengthen runway and back our airlines"

Common sense

More drip feeding, articles like these will not lessen public resistance. Again I write, it looks like thay have already made the decision behind closed doors, unfortunately until the next election I cannot do anything about it and then try to vote out those who pass this motion.

More financial strain on the public and a continueded inability shown by the states that they cannot deal with the real issues facing Guernsey (CS expenditure etc). Petrol up a penny a litre next year to pay for it? or has GSP already earmarked the £2,000,000 that is being cut from the health budget from next year (that should be returned to the pubic via a cut in the petrol levy).

Island Wide Voting

Was lengthening the runway debated at all before the 2012-2013 multi-million spend on levelling 'the dip' and generally upgrading it?

If so what was the reason given for not lengthening it then?

Please don't say the reason was because we didn't have a very large bond which our glorious leaders are now itching to spend

Laurie Queripel

We have a very large bond which some of our glorious leaders are itching to spend!

The temptation to speculate will always exist when funds are (potentially) available.

We await the business case.


And the Aurigny Review ??

Now delayed until May ??

How come it is taking so long ??


I suspect we will see 2 reports. The first watered down to protect AURIGNY and justify the decision to buy it, the second a realistic assessment of what is needed.


The government has already shown it is keen to keep the island up-to-date, by resurfacing and already lengthening our runway.

Why don't businesses pay for the lengthening if they think it will provide such a massive benefit?

No airline wants to fly here, the target market is far too small.

I can already go on Emirates website and book a flight from Guernsey to pretty much anywhere in the world, what more do we need? A codeshare agreement between BA and Aurigny would also provide a greater choice, but that's about it.


Oh please... will this ever stopp? The next aviation expert coming round the corner presenting empty phrases of "will benefit", "will send a positive signal", "open up tourism market"etc.

Ok - bit by bit:

It will provide a range of new options for business off the island, and businesses on island, if they can come here on the same aircraft as they use for anywhere else

What new options are you talking about and more important will these options ever be used. What use is an option if it's not an attractive option.

It will also open up our tourism market.

Which airlines are going to come? Where are people going to stay? Why would we need a longer runway for this - we cannot even fill the smaller planes that are bringing in tourists at the moment?

...extending the runway would send a good signal to overseas businesses...

Yes, spending money that you don't have sends out a brilliant signal, I agree. Will be an even better signal when it turns out it was completely wasted as well.

...there are concerns over the costs, and it will have to be done cost efficiently...

This really made me laugh. Very good, really! Keeping cost under control worked really well on the recent projects that were slightly smaller in scale so really confident this would be in time & in budget. And are we going to send a few millions to some African scammers again this time?

Common sense

Great post

100% Donkey

If you want a longer runway then pay for it !!

For safety concerns - if it was really needed but it isn't, so for God's sake give up on this commercial cr@p. Brexit should be your main focus and if that goes badly for us, we won't need a runway !!


So Martyn Dorey says, "lengthen the runway, and back our Airlines" ? Before making such an expensive and positive statement, has Martyn Dorey, bothered to attempt any discussions with say senior management or The Chairmen of any Airlines ? Surely, such discussions are relevant. ?? otherwise, how irresponsible of him to 'talk above his head.!

GFC fan

Yes, lengthen the runway - absolutely.

We must invest now (while it is feasible in terms of funding) in order to diversify our economy.


What do you mean "while it is feasible in terms of funding"? Rush to a decision in times of great great uncertainty? Really?

Diversify our economy - absolutely. I couldn't agree more. But you need a master-plan behind that. In what way is it going to be diversified, what do we need for this and FINALLY start spending money. Not the other way round...

Devil's Advocate

Diversification of economy just isn't going to happen until the cost of doing business here drops to that of other jurisdictions. The only reason for setting up a business here is for tax or regulatory advantage, all other factors are weighted against the island due to cost of land, staff, consumables and transport.


Yep, let's get on with it ASAP. 300m done and dusted then we can move on In The right direction with the right infrastructure in place.


300 metres extra will not allow the B737-800/900s, B787s, and A350s to operate into Guernsey. Those types can not even operate into Jersey.


GFC Fan and Progress, so according to your 'business brains' if/when the runway is long enough to take say an Emirates 380, ? complete with a bar on the 'upper deck' then so many Airlines will 'queue up' to provide a service to Guernsey.? Which 'new' Airline do you consider will be the first to join the queue. ? Just testing your knowledge about the business of operating an Airline. ??


No thanks, the jet we have is loud enough, i don't think encouraging bigger, louder planes is the answer.


Bigger certainly doesn't mean louder. The E195 noise enmisson is exactly the same as an A319

Island Wide Voting

Is it louder with a full load of passengers than it is with a quarter of a load?


For the umpteenth time, there is no evidence at all that extending the runway will bring in more airlines, more flights, lower fares and increased passenger numbers.

It would appear that some deputies and some so-called "business leaders" are under the impression that Guernsey will be showing itself to be a better place for living and for business if it can match the length of Jersey's runway. Will they then want to match Jersey and impose a 5 % tax on goods and services ??

If they want better air-links than already exist - then pay for it ! A runway extension will not bring any new routes or more flights. If they want more flights, more routes and lower fares then they must pay for it and then they will get a code-share / franchise agreement between BA and Aurigny so that Guernsey is better linked to destinations across the world, direct flights from Heathrow, new airlines and lower fares with zero airport charges... all heavily subsidized by the Guernsey tax-payer. Everything is possible but everything has a price.

Impose a GST of 5 %, a corporation tax of 10 % and increase the basic rate of income tax to 30 % and one can have all of that along with a runway extended up to 2200 metres which would allow more aircraft in than Jersey, better all weather landing capabilities, a terminal extension to allow for the larger aircraft, a cruise liner berth at StPP, a new ultra modern ferry passenger terminal, a deep water berth at StS, waste and sewage processing plants, free bus transportation, a new multi-level car park at North Beach... maybe even free medical care for every one !

Or one can stop dreaming, get back to reality and get on with life.


Why extend the runway when the future of regional aircraft lies with 100 seat electric planes which will be much cheaper to run and environmentally friendly.The days of fuel hungry jets etc are coming to an end as companies work on low carbon transport.


If we start work on the extension now then it should be finished just in time for the Brexit deal to be finalised, London to become the new offshore finance centre to the EU and all of the finance houses to drop Guernsey like a hot potato and disappear back to the mainland.


Cheaper, very much worthwhile and far less politically toxic - improved fog landing kit.

Devil's Advocate

That needs a big, flat, unobstructed area at each end of the runway. The valleys and properties at either end preclude that.


Build it...And they will come....

Anyway, we have all this money from the bond that needs to be spent