Vacant post of director of civil aviation has been filled

A NEW director of civil aviation has been appointed for the Channel Islands, covering Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney.

(Picture By Peter Frankland, 31209686)
(Picture By Peter Frankland, 31209686)

John Nicholas is joining the Channel Islands’ Office as the most senior aviation safety regulator, after working in senior roles at the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority as an aviation safety consultant, and within commercial airline operations.

‘Having consulted on Channel Islands aviation safety projects previously, I am looking forward to working in the islands again,’ said Mr Nicholas.

‘The existing teams in Jersey and Guernsey have done a great job in the absence of a full-time DCA and I look forward building on their work.’

The role comprises several regulatory responsibilities for Channel Islands-controlled air space, including legal powers that cover regulation of the Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney airports, oversight of the technical approvals for any aircraft registered with the Guernsey and Jersey aircraft registries, and oversight of aviation security and meteorological services.

The post has been empty since November 2020, following the public sacking of the former incumbent, Dominic Lazarus, after an investigation into his conduct highlighted a number of failings.

Mr Lazarus was found to have failed to regulate in accordance with the regulators’ code, failed to seek technical or legal advice before making regulatory decisions, and failing to demonstrate a commercial mindset with customers.

He was dismissed from the job in Guernsey and then stepped down from the position he held in Jersey. Acting-DCAs in each island were appointed on a temporary basis.

At the time, Economic Development Committee president Neil Inder said that the sacking was a matter of ‘great regret’, but the States was left with no other choice. Deputy Inder has now welcomed Mr Nicholas into the role, and said that he is appointed as acting-DCA for six months, with plans of being offered a three-year role.

Deputy Philip Ozouf, Jersey’s external relations minister, welcomed the appointment.

‘Mr Nicholas brings years of aviation safety and regulation experience to the office, and we wish him every success in this critical role.’

Mr Nicholas will take up his new post in the next couple of weeks.

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