‘Guernsey must not be sole employer of aviation boss’ – Jersey

A NEW director of civil aviation employed solely by Guernsey for the Channel Islands is a situation to avoid in future, a Jersey senator has said, as he advises there is no current timeframe for an appointment to the role.

Aviation (29411338)
Aviation (29411338)

Discussions between Guernsey and Jersey about the structure of the recruitment process and how it should be handled in future have also considered a DCA with sole responsibility in each jurisdiction if the matter cannot be resolved.

It follows the public sacking of the former incumbent, Dominic Lazarus, in November for gross incompetence.

The update was given at Jersey’s Economic and International Affairs panel quarterly hearing with the minister for External Relations and Financial Services.

‘We’re currently in the process of agreeing with our Guernsey counterparts how we should structure the permanent DCA going forward,’ said Senator Ian Gorst.

‘I have to be careful with what I say due to the ongoing situation in Guernsey, but the previous DCA was employed by the Guernsey government and I think we can say in hindsight that is not something, or not a structured approach, that we would want to use in future, so we’re having those discussions about what the appropriate employment structure should be.’

The position does need to be filled as it is a statutory role to ensure the safety of civil aviation in Guernsey and Jersey and its airspace, despite the quietest period

for Guernsey airport and airports in general.

Senator Gorst said they had considered a separate DCA in Jersey and Guernsey, however it would come at a larger than expected financial cost.

‘It’s got some benefits and we may end there if we can’t resolve the structure of the employment,’ he said.

‘But I think both islands have found that there is quite a lot of work involved. We’re now having to undertake a number of pieces of work in preparation for various audits that you could have a structure where there was an overarching DCA across the islands, but with a deputy DCA with directly delegated authorities for various matters because we’ve found now, to all of our costs, that it can’t be done on a shoestring, which is perhaps how it was done in the past.’

Ash Nicholas continues to perform the role of acting director of civil aviation and it is the role of the office of the director of civil aviation to undertake all of the functions necessary to ensure aviation safety.

This includes regulating the safety of aerodromes, air traffic and air transport services in both Jersey and Guernsey, to license aerodromes and to license air traffic controllers.

Mr Nicholas also acts as the States’ aviation security regulator.

An investigation into Mr Lazarus’s conduct alleges a failure to regulate in accordance with the regulators’ code, a failure to seek technical or legal advice before making regulatory decisions, and a failure to demonstrate a commercial mindset with customers.

Lawyers for Mr Lazarus indicated at the time that they would be issuing proceedings in both an employment tribunal and the Royal Court.

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