Questions remain over CI aviation director’s office

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT president Neil Inder faces further questions over what is happening at the Director of Civil Aviation office.

(Picture By Peter Frankland, 28904335)
(Picture By Peter Frankland, 28904335)

Last week in a statement in the States Assembly, Deputy Inder told deputies that Ash Nicholas was supporting the DCA as his deputy. Yet Mr Nicholas lists his job title as ‘acting director of civil aviation in the Bailiwick’.

The DCA is a statutory post and the law that governs it lists only two reasons why an acting director can be appointed by the committee – if there is a vacancy or if the DCA is unable to carry out the functions of the office and has not appointed a deputy director of civil aviation.

The Guernsey Press asked whether Mr Nicholas was the acting DCA or a deputy and if he was the acting DCA, which of the scenarios outlined in the law was being relied on by the committee in making the appointment.

‘We have nothing further to add to the information contained in Deputy Inder’s update to the States Assembly last week,’ said an Economic Development spokesperson.

The committee has said that the DCA, Dominic Lazarus, remains in post, but has refused to confirm whether he is actively carrying out his duties.

Emails to him bounce back simply saying he is ‘currently out of the office’ and recommending contacting Mr Nicholas for Guernsey and someone else for Jersey.

Mr Nicholas’ LinkedIn profile says that he has been acting director of civil aviation and aviation security regulator for the Bailiwick of Guernsey since August.

Emails to his former address as Guernsey Airport’s head of aviation services bounce back saying he has been seconded to the Office of the Director of Civil Aviation with effect from Monday 10 August.

The law also sets out that the director of civil aviation can appoint a deputy with full authority to carry out the director’s functions during any period in which the director of civil aviation is unavailable.

The DCA role is jointly funded by Guernsey and Jersey and is promoted as a Channel Islands office, although each island makes an individual appointment under its own laws and the incumbent is based there.

Mr Lazarus has not been seen at the airport recently, according to sources.

A spokesperson for the States of Jersey said that the islands continue to share a director of civil aviation. They said that in September the DCA contracted Ms Inez Bartolo on an initial 12-month contract to increase the capacity of the office in Jersey, which has had a vacancy since 2019 for a combined post of deputy director civil aviation and aviation security regulator – her focus is solely on Jersey.

They did not directly answer whether Jersey also had an acting director of civil aviation.

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