Alderney air services secured for five years

A FIVE-YEAR public service obligation for Aurigny to continue flying between Guernsey and Alderney has been signed, it was announced yesterday.

(Picture By Peter Frankland, 29685742)
(Picture By Peter Frankland, 29685742)

The agreement comes after months of negotiation.

Policy & Resources member Deputy Mark Helyar welcomed the deal, saying it would future-proof airline services for Alderney.

‘The collective aim of all those involved has always been to ensure that air connectivity was assured in a financially sustainable manner, which I believe has now been achieved,’ he said.

Aurigny chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout said the agreement ended uncertainty for all those who use and operate the services in and out of the island.

‘It signifies a commitment to the route for the next five years and I hope this is welcomed by both residents and visitors to Alderney,’ he said.

‘We have been working with key stakeholders in Guernsey and Alderney and will shortly be assisting them with a feasibility study in relation to the Alderney runway.’

If that led to the runway being extended, Aurigny could use ATRs to fly there.

A trial will take place with low-level approaches by the aircraft over the island.

‘Although this work does not necessarily mean the runway will be extended, it is important work to ensure the right fix for the future of Alderney services by weighing up the cost and benefit of the various options,’ Mr Bezuidenhout said.

Aurigny will offer regular daily return services for Guernsey to Alderney and Alderney to Southampton, whatever the outcome of the ATR study and any future aircraft. The service levels between the islands are and will continue to be based on demand and will fluctuate seasonally.

States’ Trading Supervisory Board president Deputy Peter Roffey said ensuring service delivery that enables economic development and social well-being was critical to society.

‘Through the PSO we have secured services today, while keeping an eye on future-proofing infrastructure to be fit-for-purpose for delivery into the future.’

Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee chairman Bill Abel said: ‘The planned test approaches show the thoroughness that is being applied to the evaluation of the proposed extension of the runway to accommodate the use of ATRs and we look forward to the completion of this important report later this year.’

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