Air Alderney is holding a "showcase event" today, where people in the island can view the plans it would intend to use on passenger and medical flights.
Members of the Air Alderney team will be at Hangar 2 at Alderney Airport between 09:30 and 17:30 - along with a Tecnam P2012 and two Britten-Norman Islanders.
Members of the States of Alderney will be at the Showcase, but the government has said it wants to clarify its position in relation to the issuing of route licences.
The States said it has had dialogue with Air Alderney, but it hasn't received an air route licence application from the carrier.
Pictured: Air Alderney's website remains under construction.
Before Air Alderney can operate passenger services, or be considered as a medical carrier, it would need to apply for a licence under the Air Transport Licensing (Alderney) Law 1996.
A spokesperson for the States of Alderney said: "Air Alderney has been advised of the legal requirements to submit licence applications, which would then be considered by the Alderney Air Transport Licensing Board, in the context of the Law and the Air Route Licensing Policy, in accordance with standard practice."
The spokesperson also confirmed the States will be represented at today's event, but they sought to downplay any sign that this could be taken as tacit approval of Air Alderney making a licence application.
"Individual States Members will be attending Air Alderney’s event at the Airport on Saturday alongside the public in order to gain further understanding of the company’s operating status and future plans," the spokesperson said.
Today's event does come at a crucial time for the future of Alderney's air links.
Last week the island's States agreed it would contribute up to £3.5m to the overall cost of extending the island's runway and rebuilding the airport terminal building.
The States will only act on that offer if redevelopment plan Option C+ is approved by the States of Guernsey when it debates the matter at its next meeting, starting on 23 November.
Ian Carter, Chairman of Alderney's Policy & Finance Committee (P&F), told the full States meeting that strong and positive relationships built with Guernsey through the pandemic had engendered “mutual support and symbiosis” and was a key factor in making this offer as the proposed development is seen as essential for the Island’s future as well as an economic enabler for the entire Bailiwick.
“The proposition puts front and centre a very real commitment to the concept of the Bailiwick of Guernsey as an entity in which joint working between legislatures, collaboration and economic development are being promoted in order for survival and progress of each island in the Bailiwick in a very turbulent international sea,” he said.
Pictured: Ian Carter, Chairman of the States of Alderney's Policy and Finance Committee.
“There are incredibly positive relationships that have been built up between the two islands through the pandemic where the communities of each island have seen the value of their sister island and the need to ensure that both islands thrive.
“It is for this reason of mutual support and symbiosis, where working together each island is able to have an enhanced effect overall, that this proposition is being made. Alderney as one of the two Islands in Fiscal Union is seeking to make a real economic commitment to that union for a sustained period of time and will do so as a result of that investment.”
Mr Carter reminded Alderney States Members that the airport decision is now out of their hands and relies on Guernsey's deputies agreeing to fund the majority of the work, which ever option is approved.
Alderney will have to borrow the money if it does contribute the £3.5m to the airport project. It's already been confirmed that the Guernsey Bond will be the preferred borrowing vehicle with interest rates between 3.625% to 4.25%.
“Following consideration of available resources and the longer-term costs, the preference for Police & Finance is a blend of cash contribution and loan-funding,” said Mr Carter.
“The balance will be determined dependent on the timing of the funding requirement, and the States’ reserves position at that time. The States will also work with the States of Guernsey to investigate approaches to project management which will reduce the overall costs of the project.”
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