Guernsey's Institute of Directors winter seminar ended with a call on the States to do something about the island's well-documented issues with connectivity.
Friday's event was organised "because air connectivity was highlighted as the number one priority, by a considerable margin, in a survey issued for the IoD convention last September" with the IoD also adding that in an earlier business survey, 93% of the 668 respondents did not feel that the island has adequately future-proofed its transport links, further commenting that while a recent social media petition on the issue of air fares attracted nearly 6000 signatures, the consistent message is that "expectations have not been met."
John Clacy, the Vice Chairman of the Tax and Regulatory Sub-Committee, said: "These results illustrate that Guernsey's air links are more than a policy priority or an exercise in stakeholder management. Our air links are an intrinsic part of the experience of living and doing business in Guernsey. For some, they determine whether it is practical to live here (or not) and over the long term, the quality of our air links will determine how the island develops as an economy and a society. Guernsey’s air links are synonymous with its perception as a destination and its brand in the international community."
Mr Clacy said the IoD supports policy measures which "broaden options for the business community while sustaining existing connections", however he added that to “fix” air links "it is evident that policy focus needs to be matched with committed resources - there is no magic operational fix and the issue is too important for the island as a whole to ignore."
A review of air infrastructure is due but Mr Clacy said more action is needed: "With respect to the pending review of air infrastructure, we look forward to understanding how, and when, the Policy & Resources Committee will be deploying its "dry powder”.
"Although financial discipline is important, and the repeated emphasis in debate on the need for a robust economic business case as a precondition for investment is sound, the policy framework surrounding these investment decisions also needs to recognise there will always be an element of risk in any investment decision and needs to appreciate the wider social aspects of air links as part of the Islands “health wealth and happiness” agenda.”
Pictured: John Clacy
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.