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

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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.

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".'

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