Options are progressed for Alderney's runway

ALDERNEY’S States members and its Chamber of Commerce have been updated on plans for the future of the island’s runway.

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The States’ Trading Supervisory Board has carried out detailed work on the advantages and disadvantages of three options under consideration for the long-term rehabilitation of the island’s asphalt runway, and Aurigny has also considered its options.

Two involve variations on rehabilitating the existing 877m runway, while a third would see the runway extended to the west to enable ATR aircraft to operate there.

A team from Guernsey, led by STSB president Deputy Peter Roffey, met virtually with Alderney’s Policy & Finance Committee, and then with Chamber representatives, to give a progress report and to outline next steps on the rehabilitation works.

Aurigny chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout and technical experts from the airline were also at both meetings.

No conclusions have been reached, but it is hoped that the full results of the research will enable STSB, and Guernsey’s Policy & Resources Committee, to consider the results early in 2022.

Then there will be public engagement with the Alderney community.

Deputy Roffey said: ‘We fully appreciate the importance of this project to the people of Alderney, given the island’s reliance on its lifeline air links. A project of this nature is very complex, and will involve significant, but much-needed capital investment, which the States of Guernsey has already given a commitment to.’

Alderney Policy & Finance Committee chairman Bill Abel said few would argue that resolving and subsequently implementing the airport rehabilitation project was one of the most important matters for Alderney’s future.

‘The committee is very impressed with the amount and quality of the research work being undertaken by the project team in Guernsey to obtain all the necessary information for the States of Deliberation to be able to make the optimal decision, in the overall interest of both islands, as we move forward,’ he said.

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