We won’t skew airport runway business case, says president

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ‘will not twist facts’ in support of a runway extension, its president has said, as he defended his committee’s responsibility for producing its business case.

runway

The Aurigny Strategic Review concluded that the business case for a proposed runway extension, which is set to be debated as part of the Policy & Resource plan later this month, should instead be commissioned by Policy & Resources.

Lyndon Trott, who chaired the review panel, said the need for even-handedness on such a high-scale project was pivotal.

‘The review panel was unanimous that an independent review should be carried out by P&R, not by Economic Development,’ he said.

‘It should not be seen as an opportunity to build a business case in support of a runway extension, but as an opportunity to put together all the benefits and disbenefits.

‘There are some distinct advantages, but there are some distinct disadvantages to extending the runway as well, and that is why any review should be done independently.’

Economic Development president Peter Ferbrache said his committee had no desire to skew the business case in favour of a runway extension

‘Of course, a business case has to put forward all the pluses and minuses, not just the good bits, and it has to be constructive,’ he said.

‘The other part of this is confidence – our forefathers’ extension of the harbour, for example, is seen as a good idea now but they couldn’t have put together a business case at the time.

‘It was a leap in the dark. I’m not saying this is a leap in the dark, but you do need to have a degree of faith.

‘It has to be for the benefit of Guernsey. We aren’t doing it for the sake of it or as a vanity project. There has to be a justification. None of us wants to twist the facts, we just want to put the facts to the States and say “please vote for this”.’

Comments for: "We won’t skew airport runway business case, says president"

GuernToTheDogs

"we just want to put the facts to the States and say “please vote for this”

So you've just confirmed you are not neutral/independent. That's the point they are trying to make, the review should be INDEPENDENT, and the Economic Development President is not.

Fermain

the clue is the title... "economic developement",

by contrast the department that has responsibility for Aurigny is completely independent on the issue!

wallygator

I am a great believer in the need to change the air services etc.

However I do not believe a longer runway is the answer.

Just sell Aurigny even at a loss, the loss will not be as much as the cost of the extension.

Then open the airport like Jersey has done for anyone who wants to fly in and this will bring fares down but not at the tax payers expense.

In the past when Aurigny, Flybe and Blue islands were all independent the fares were acceptable.

Also bring back a more regular inter island service, this has gone down hill since Aurigny and Blue islands joined together for this. Now there are hardly any flights per day.

Devil's Advocate

...and when the airlines that get the Gatwick slots want to use them for something else more profitable?

Alvin

The key points :

£ 30 million cost and maybe more – bearing in mind the runway is planned to be extended to the east which will require considerable loss of agricultural land, several buildings and substantial, costly land-filling and then possibility of flooding of adjacent areas.

No guarantee of new airlines, new routes or more passengers.

Risk of less frequent flights and less routes.

Supposing new summer routes established then an increase of only 50000 passengers per year could be realistically expected. ( Supposing six new summer routes each with a weekly flight using an Airbus A320 ).

More competition to Aurigny, Blue Islands and Flybe threatening their ability to survive financially on the Guernsey routes.

More costs to be borne by those existing airlines when no, or very few, additional flights are received causing higher airport charges, higher fares and less passengers.

Runway still will not be long enough to handle Ryanair, Norwegian and Thomson Boeing 737-800s !

Airport currently able to handle A320s and A319s, as well as the older, smaller B737s, though on short flights not fully loaded.

Easyjet were willing to operate to Guernsey on the Gatwick route using current runway.

Air Berlin did not stop Guernsey flights because of runway length, as they have retained their fleet of 20 Dash 8s, but because of severe financial losses and so have cut half of their 140 destinations that they were serving, including Jersey.

Passenger decline on inter-island routes will not be prevented. ( Last year 13000 passengers less on the Jersey route alone ! )

Jersey Airport has historically always been much busier than Guernsey Airport – but it has two thirds more population and well over double the number of tourist beds.

London City has similar size runway, can not take Embraer 195 of Aurigny, but has over a dozen airlines serving almost 50 destinations and handles over 4.5 million passengers a year !

Need I go on ??

Fermain

Please don't go on as this is all stuff you have copy/pasted numerous times before, and at some point soon you'll be saying we should shorten the runway!

Jersey's population and air traffic was actually about the same as Guernsey's today when they extended their runway to its current length in the 1970s.

Alvin

No one is advocating a shorter runway.

And I will keep on hammering on with the facts until pro-runway-extension supporters can prove that a longer runway will benefit the island, because, quite frankly, no one has.

Fermain

Why the runway in particular? Will you do this for every capital project?

rine111

Alvin, please continue with your pressure. It is clear that you understand the facts.

I flew Gatwick-Jersey-Gatwick on Easyjet recently. Flight wss half empty in both directions.

Business peopie are in the main not fare-price sensitive. You travel if you need to, not because it would be nice to go. Private travellers from Guernsey might fly a bit more with lower fares but tourists from elsewhere are unlikely to choose Guernsey over Spain even if fares to Guernsey were free.

Wings

"No guarantee of new airlines" - but a cast-iron guarantee that none will come with our runway at its current length

"More competition to Aurigny" - which will always be a costly airline to run with its current fleet

"A320s and 319s...not fully loaded" - what airline is likely to want to set up with that restriction?

"Jersey...... has two thirds more population" - we have 63,000 they have 100,000 - that's not a 2/3rds majority where I learnt maths

No, you do not need to go on

Alvin

Easyjet, Jet2, BA’s Cityflyer, Cityjet, Stobart, Loganair, Eastern Airways, BMI Regional, Austrian Airways, Air France, Regional, Airlinair, KLM Cityhopper, Swiss, Skywork, Helvetic, Etihad Regional, Lufthansa Cityline, Alitalia, TAP, Danish Air Transport, Sun-Air, Air Berlin... need I go on. Lots of Airlines out there.

Not just competition for Aurigny but also for Blue Islands / Flybe.

Well Easyjet were prepared to have a go - but were stopped by the then T & R

Guernsey population 61000 excluding Alderney. Jersey 102000. OK - not quite 2/3 but not far out.

rine111

Until you have an answer to Alvin's point about London City being successful with a similar sized runway to Guernsey, I would politely suggest that your comments are not worth reading.

The simple fact is that people do not want to go to Guernsey in the numbers some would like. It's a mix of poor weather and poor and expensive hotel facilities. Guernsey does not allow hotels of a size to have the economies of scale or services of those in Spain. I happen to be pleased about that but you can't have it both ways. As I said elsewhere, I doubt many more tourists would choose Guernsey even if the flights were free.

Progress

Please dont, it gets rather tedious.

markB

Well done LT and the Panel for taking this out of the hands of Economic Development.

" We won't skew the out come" Pull the other one, its got bells on it!!.

"degree of faith" no thanks, I want total faith.

guern abroad

Given the admission 'please vote for this' from P&R do you really think we'll buy your facts as straight and unbiased ... Let's also not forget you can't use the bond to pay for it unless you 'engineer' it from a certain deputy.

guern abroad

Whoops my mistake not P&R but the sentient still stands and I guess we won't know until we read the report how balanced or biased it is.

Common sense

Perhaps it's time the states realise that their credibility is vertically non existent and any announcement is taken with a rather large pinch of salt, the deputies that have individual integrity and public support cannot be counted on one hand, LQ is one of the few who publicly view their opinion and stand by what they say.

We need reform as IWV has been set up to fail from the beginning e.g multi choice to split the vote, 40% turnout required. Even if the parish system does not change there is no reason why we cannot pick the head of the states, they just have to put their name forward and the options can be on the bottom of the ballot paper, provide they are elected in their district the person with the most votes wins, for good or ill at least it would be the public's choice.

Common sense

Virtually non existent

Can be counted

Progress

We do not want Lyndon Trott anywhere near this process

Common sense

Wasn't he GSPs collaborator in obtaining the votes for the £330,000,000 loan, not a great record where putting all the facts accross e.g the £15,000,000 set up fee.

Guernseymale

If they ever do extend the runway they will find it was a waste of money ,as by then most planes will be electric and same size as Aurignys turbo prop planes

Island Wide Voting

.... but the batteries will be so heavy it will need a longer runway to take off

guern abroad

IWV fact or fiction?

Island Wide Voting

Until we jettison the term 'electric' and focus on a new power source of three parts deuterium (a stable isotope of hydrogen) to one part Li6 (a stable isotope of the metal lithium) in a crystaline structure,namely dilithium crystals, then it is fiction I'm afraid

Guernseymale

From reports I have read Electric powered passenger planes 100 seat approx are planned for the next 5 years.

Island Wide Voting

I'm pretty sure I read that in the Eagle comic in the 1950s

I wish I had saved all my Eagles in good condition.They would probably buy me a return ticket to Gatwick now

Esprit

https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/05/zunum-aeros-electric-passenger-plane-hopes-to-offer-cheaper-flights-by-2020/

Island Wide Voting

....'smaller craft with between 10 and 50 seats that do short-haul trips' would probably be ideal for our regular passenger numbers

I hope I'm still looking down at the daisies when that happens,but it's not what SimonV has in mind for our 90M, and the Gatwick landing fees would probably have to shoot up through the roof

InteresTed

Look how successful the larger planes are to Jersey and the larger boat to the UK. Bigger planes equals a sure fire way to loss of the lifeline slots and 1 plane per day routes. If the business case is so strong I would expect to see queues of local businesses keen to invest their own million or two.

Guernseymale

Seems Easyjet are teaming up with electric aircraft makers so looks as if the future will be planes suitable for our present runway,and with cheaper fares.