Former deputy talking sense on runway

AT LAST, someone talking sense about the airport runway. Well done Yvonne Burford. As an engineer I had the pleasure of attending a lecture organised by CIGPE and given by the Lagan project manager at the airport, where we were also given a tour of the works. It was quite clear that the upgrading of the runway meant that heavier planes could take off, but in addition it was also clear that there was absolutely no need for a runway extension, as the existing length was more than adequate for the type of planes ever likely to come here.

So all this talk by people who know not what they are talking about should be ignored – a runway extension is totally unnecessary.

I also have been advised by a member of the previous States that the real reason easyJet did not choose to fly here and terminated their discussions, putting the blame on the States’ intransigence, was in fact that they were insisting on a monopoly and of course the States couldn’t possibly agree to that. No this is not ‘fake news’, but the real reason they pulled out of negotiations.

Mind you, it wouldn’t surprise me if they had also concluded that there was very little profit in the route anyway – and let’s face it, the people running easyJet are not fools. They probably realised that the sums would not add up, which would be why they wanted a monopoly in the first place.

JOHN BUCHANAN SNR,

Address withheld.

Comments for: "Former deputy talking sense on runway"

Cher Eugene

It grieves me, but I have to say that I entirely agree with YB on this subject.

When are airlines going to get it into their thick heads that speed is not everything, frequency and cost are more important to most people. The Trislanders with a single pilot and a half-hourly service to Jersey were splendid. Their only drawback was that they did not run late enough in the evenings. They were cheap because they had just a pilot, no co-pilot and no cabin staff, no duty-free or in-flight refreshments and a very short check-in time. Those were the days....

Then Jersey built a grand, new, oversized airport terminal and our powers that be had to follow suit and, as inevitable as night follows day, went over the top in size, splendour and cost so cheap air travel immediately became a thing of the past.

NO to runway extensions, NO to Easyjet, YES to any airline that will run a minimum of a morning and evening service in a 15 to 25 seater aircraft to airports other than Gatwick/Heathrow.

Rant over, I feel much better!

Island Wide Voting

A good letter of the day by John Buchanan Snr but what was it that brought about that good letter of the day?

It starts off by congratulating Yvonne Burford on talking good sense about the airport runway and then immediately goes on to support what she said without filling in the enormous gap of what it was that she actually said

What did Yvonne Burford actually say? Was it on a Radio or TV interview? Can what she said be listened to on i-player? Does anyone know where to find what the lady said?

Whatever she said must have been something important enough to promote Mr Buchanan's written response to the lofty position of being the letter of the day. What is the background to this letter of the day?The fifteen bob Guernsey Press and Star regularly berates the Assembly over the lack of joined up government.A bit of joined up journalism wouldn't go amiss here

Perhaps Ms Burford has kept a copy of what she said.It sounds as if what she said was quite important

Important enough perhaps for the lady to solve the strange mystery of what she said by posting a copy of what she said on TIG so that we all know what she said?

Alvin

Not everything that is printed in the Press, makes it way into the website - if one wants to look at the whole picture that the Press paints - something that I would strongly recommend, especially as the Press, despite its faults, is a very good value for money local newspaper - then one should buy it and read it !

I have commented elsewhere about this. Richard Digard's excellent article on Aurigny never made it to the website, which was a shame, but not all articles do.

As to why that letter was selected as Letter of the Day then have a look at other letters - not really much to choose from.

Cher Eugene

IWV, there was a full page article in the Press by YB. Don't you read the Paper?

Island Wide Voting

Yes, I have that excellent page 15 of the 12 May 2017 article in my cut-out-and-keep file

I am just very curious WHY, despite obvious interest on TIG, that Mr Editor has decided that this particular piece detailing the utter stupidity of extending the airport runway is not worthy of reproducing on TIG to stimulate further comment

Never mind, we'll just have to make do with such riveting articles as Imelda May's (who she?) full page on her early life in Dublin etc. ZZZzzzzzzz

Cher Eugene

I am also very curious. At least once a week there is an article in the paper version of the Press that is begging for comment but Shifty Sean will not put it in TIG.

Ah Well. The newspaper ALWAYS has the last word!!!

Shane Langlois

IWV

I wonder how many others saw your original response to Yvonne's excellent 'No Pot of Gold at the End of the Runway' article before that disappeared from 'Your Shout' along with any reference to the article itself? It would be a shame if only a handful of us witnessed the slight softening of your attitude to the former Minister.

"...good enough to have been written by Horace Camp"!

Island Wide Voting

Shane

I'm glad that you too recognised YB's article as excellent.See if you can persuade at least another twenty of your Assembly colleagues to view it in the same light

Unfortunately one golden nugget is not enough to entice me to consider giving up one of my up to 38 votes to the lady in a proper 2020 island wide election ... should she decide to stand

As for Horace Camp,if we could clone him and dear old Dave Jones twenty times each then we would have a Common Sense Party to rival all other parties anywhere in the world

Progress

Whats the solution Shane??? Dwindling passenger numbers, a state owned airline that carries less passengers the more money it burns, a runway that is too short to support low cost carriers? Please as a States member come up with something to stop the decay...

guern abroad

Those same low cost carriers will expect to be enticed by paying their fees. That would be far more expensive then supporting Aurigny, but hey you get an different coloured ticket and feel better but missing the point the money has gone off Island and is still costing the tax payer just as much if not more than before assuming 'they will come' which is not a good enough reason.

Shane Langlois

Progress

The only argument CfED will be able to put forward for extending the runway is that a States-owned piece of infrastructure is constraining the free market forces that would provide us with the range of air transport services we would like to see. That every Report to date has concluded it is other factors, not the length of the runway, which have resulted in today’s air services is being ignored because to do otherwise would necessitate facing up to what is a complex problem. As the Aurigny Review should shortly reveal.

Rather than analyzing that complex problem and proposing solutions it is so much easier to claim the situation has changed since the last reports and thus justify spending more tens of thousands on a new one. The bonus for CfED is that, as with all reports, it will delay having to make difficult decisions.

Progress

Shane

I wouldn't hold your breath with the Aurigny review. The report is likely to be highly politically motivated, will I am sure ignore the wishes of industry and most likely will not address interlining, the management, the future need for larger aircraft (which is market & UK airport driven) and the case to increase the runway. If I was a betting man I would also wager that It will also likely point to the need to continue to provide an open cheque book in the region of an annual £6m overdraft.

Val

While I didn't like Yvonne Burford as a deputy and didn't agree with most of her decisions I have to admit that when I read her letter I had felt like cheering that at last someone was actually talking sense. She has a lot of knowledge about aircraft, etc. How people (Simon Vermuelen & Jan Kuttlewascher) can keep saying that a longer runway will encourage cheaper flights and more tourists baffles me. We are a small place of only approx. 60000 residents and as such have a very limited market either flying out or coming in to this island. Larger aircraft will never be filled to capacity so any airline would be looking to recover their costs by keeping fares high.

Island Wide Voting

....OR doing an EasyJet and charging the local taxpayers several millions a year for the privilege of having them fly here

In effect Guernsey taxpayers would not only be subsidising the airline but also Mr Vermuelen's business.Not sure about Mr Kuttlewascher, perhaps he'd be happy enough to settle for a plaque in the airport concourse

guern abroad

We need to unearth the figure the Jersey taxpayer is paying out annually to subside EasyJet to fly to Jersey. I expect even if it was just the landing charge per passenger it could be worked out as a starting point.

Paul

Careful with 6.9 million and cheap loans to Aurigny you're in danger of making easyJet appear quite the bargain.

guern abroad

Not all at. Aurigny with so many staff and services on Island keep money local. Aurigny had 577,000 passenger movements in 2014 let's assume half are in bound and using only Guernsey landing fees 2018 that's just under £4M. What if as well EasyJet want other fees covered too... You can keep your rose tinted glasses, I prefer mine that see the benefit to the Island to continue the subside to Aurigny which has a much greater benefit to the economy than the same amount being spent on the buses!

jjlehto

Seeing as YB has recently been posting here, perhaps she could post a link to her article as I am sure many people who missed it in print would like the chance to read it. If the Press won't oblige how about Facebook or a link on Twitter?

Y Burford

I'm sure there is no odd behaviour by the Press regarding this article, after all they kindly gave me a whole page on which to publish it.

My website is somewhat out of date but I have uploaded it there for anyone who missed it in the Press.

https://yvonneburford.com/runway-extension/

jjlehto

Thank you for uploading the article. I can't fault any of it, and notice that the usual runway-lengthening fan club have yet to make any comment. Is Simon away on his hols?

Donkey Boiler

Why has Mrs Burford waited until leaving the States before starting to talk some sense? Hopefully the electorate will remember the character of her previous incarnation should she choose to stand in 2020.

Y Burford

Afternoon DB

For what it's worth I made the same arguments about the runway, L'Ancresse and Condor in 2014.

Beanjar

Unfortunately, you also rammed through, almost single-handedly, our absurdly expensive and largely useless bus 'service'. Which I bet you never use.

Donkey Boiler

And the unfair and unecessary W+E tax.

GM

Yvonne Burford

You speak perfect sense re air and sea transport.

Unfortunately, despite that, I could never vote for you because of your other political views, which just goes to show how hard it is to elect politicians in Guernsey. For every positive there are just too many negatives.

peabody

Voters have long memories, you only get one chance to make good impression...

No second chance from me I'm afraid!

Paul

Agreed, with enough subjects there will always be agreement on something. I even agreed with something Jeremy Corbyn said.....once!

Too much water under the bridge unfortunately Yvonne certainly to start electioneering this early.

Alvin

If the island adopted Island Wide Voting, with less deputies, in elections for half of the house split every two years, allowing continuity for the house as opposed to now when there is a huge upheaval every four years, and the electorate voting for who the best person is to lead a particular department and not, like now, letting those elected share out the plum jobs without regard as to who is best suited, then the States might move forward, and, as an example, we might get people like Yvonne Burford voted, island wide, as Minister of Transport, and not environment which, despite her university degree on the subject which she gained later on in life, she is less qualified to manage !

Progress

Alvin, why on earth would we want YB as transport minister?

davegorvel

Yvonne

Agree with your very good article in press but if still President of Envo would you spend the 40 million on buses and cycle tracks.

An AI Forever

Make St Peter Port a car free zone.

Paul

Make Guernsey a no £1 bus zone.

An AI Forever

Paul

I agree it should be free for all

Beanjar

An Al, under your various guises over the years you used to make some worthwhile points. Particularly regarding finance, which seemed to be your specialist area. Now all your comments appear to be rather less than constructive, indeed many appear to be trolling. Are you really sitting there in Pattaya or wherever, wearing your pink cravat, swilling pimms, and really giving a toss about Guernsey's bus service? The one that costs the taxpayer about £5 every time somebody decides to hop on for a quick half mile tootle because they can't be bothered to walk? If so, either paradise is not all it's cracked up to be or you've run out of money and come home.

davegorvel

Al

Make one in Thailand or where ever you live.

Progress

Well Yvonne didn't find or recommend any solutions to the dwindling passenger numbers and increasing unsustainable costs of Aurigny when she was in the the States, and neither has she suggested anything in this article. Unless she can come up with any other ideas which I doubt, lengthening the runway and providing the appropriate infrastructure to support, develop and protect our air routes in the future is certainly the only option on the table at present.

jjlehto

Extending the runway will not "support, develop and protect our air routes" in any shape or form. I really do recommend reading the article. Perhaps once you have you could point out where YB is wrong?

Progress

YB offers no solution to our declining passenger numbers which a well rounded article should include, this is my point. Why write something that continues to err on the negative at a time when we need solutions.

GM

Progress

YB offers no solutions because there are no obvious ones. One thing is certain - throwing millions at lengthening the runway is not answer as it will make no difference whatsoever to passenger numbers coming here.

There are a whole load of other factors at play here. The most important two are there we have nowhere near enough hotels left to cope with significant extra demand, and that there are not enough tourist attractions left to draw visitors. This island effectively abandoned any pretence of being committed to tourism years ago and it's now a much bigger task to get it back.

Event tourism is probably the answer - host high quality events which will draw in visitors who wish to participate or watch it. That can be linked to sport, culture or the arts, but give people a specific reason to come here, even in the winter.

Sarkie

Progress, you seem to be missing the point, a longer runway will make no difference whatsoever.

Any low cost airlines wanting to come here, have more than enough planes that can easily take off from our runway.

Progress

Sadly low cost airlines dont use ATRs and specially adapted EMB195s.