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Runway extension unlikely to take off

Runway extension unlikely to take off

Monday 26 July 2021

Runway extension unlikely to take off


A review of the airport runway is being revisited post-covid, however the signs are that there is little political appetite to extend it beyond the current boundaries.

The late former deputy Jan Kuttelwascher petitioned the States in 2019 to undertake a review into the viability of extending Guernsey Airport’s runway to 1,700 metres.

The subsequent independent review led by consultancy Frontier Economics made the case for extension. Its studies suggested that, based on the 858,000 air passengers to Guernsey in 2019, a 1% increase in visitors would be enough to pay back a runway extension over a 40-year period and inject £21m into the local economy.

However, the climate for travel has changed substantially since and the former Economic Development Committee decided last year to shelve the report and refresh its findings once the transport picture become clearer. 

Screenshot_2021-07-23_at_16.46.03.png

Pictured: One of the recovery actions in the Government Work Plan was to conclude the review commenced by the previous Assembly.

Current Economic Development President Neil Inder touched upon his committee’s responsibility for revisiting the issue during the GWP debate.

“This work includes exploring the potential benefits of extending the Guernsey Airport runway to at least 1,700 metres, taking into account the post-covid conditions.

"This work hasn’t stopped and we’re under direction to come back to Committee."

Deputy Neil Inder

Pictured: “This work is ongoing,” said Deputy Inder, citing upcoming meetings on the issue.

Deputy Inder told the States his Committee "has not sat" on the work handed over to them.

"Within that review, we are going to look at the RESA and the EMAS options. We are going to try, along with the CCA, working with the leads at the STSB, to see if that's possible, because 

“I believe the most practical and pragmatic way of doing it and the most publicly acceptable would be to work within the boundaries of the existing airport,” he said.

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