Guernsey Press

Plan being made to stop airport lockout repeat

A PLAN is to be drawn up to deal with the 'unacceptable situation' of passengers being stranded at the airport after late flights.


The announcement by Guernsey Ports and Environment & Infrastructure followed a dozen people being left outside in the dark on Sunday after their planes landed after 10pm and the airport closed.

A joint statement from Ports and E&I said that Aurigny had done a great job in getting people to the island when flights were disrupted.

But they recognised that when passengers arrived outside normal hours it was important to ensure that appropriate services were available.

‘It is not acceptable for passengers to be left stranded in this way and reflects poorly on Guernsey the moment people arrive,’ said the committees.

‘We will work with the airlines, the ports and the on-island public transport providers to develop a contingency plan for these unpredictable events, so that this can be implemented at short notice.’

Simone Roberts, who highlighted the problem on Sunday night, said it would not have been a

good first experience of Guernsey for visitors.

News of action being taken came shortly after Economic Development president Deputy Neil Inder said a plan to deal with late night arrivals was needed.

‘The fundamental problem you’ve got is that there is very little customer care at the airport,’ he said. ‘Once people have left the building, their responsibility stops once the door’s closed.’

There was also a problem getting a taxi on Sunday night, but Taxi Owners’ Federation president Leon Gallienne said that drivers often checked the airport on their runs to and from St Peter Port.

‘Any night between 10pm and 12am is going to be a busy time for us any day of the week,’ he said.

But those who were between fares often checked the airport if they saw the lights on at night.

‘A majority of drivers who are working will do whatever they can to help. We don’t like to see people standing at the airport.'

On Sunday the airport closed soon after 10pm and the lights were turned off.

On top of it being a busy time, there is currently a shortage of drivers and Mr Gallienne said the federation had hoped a review of the taxi industry would have been published by now.

‘We’ve been highlighting these problems for a number of years before Covid came along and we lost 50-odd drivers.

‘Even this week we’ve lost drivers who’ve gone sick and there’s been no-one to replace them.’

E&I said it was looking forward to publishing the review’s findings.

‘We want to work together with all stakeholders to ensure a good service is delivered,’ it said.