Below is a report by Andrew Eggleston, President of the Alderney Chamber of Commerce, which was also published in today’s edition of the Alderney Press.
Following a positive meeting with Aurigny Chairman Andrew Haining at the Braye Beach Hotel on Monday, Chamber stressed that the longer the uncertainty of the PSO2 continued, the more damage it would cause Alderney in every aspect of daily life.
“We are on the verge of losing established events because of the unknown situation that we find ourselves in,” said Chamber President Andrew Eggleston. “We are also on the verge of losing credibility with the outside world. We can understand Aurigny’s dilemma as they are being forced into a limbo situation because politicians, civil service and experts are not making decisions.
Our Braye Beach meeting that also included two States Members and Chamber’s joint Vice Presidents, unanimously agreed that without credible infrastructure, we would well remain in the doldrums. There are so few commercial planes capable of using a runway that is less than 900 metres.
We believe that investment in a longer runway is essential to delivering a sustainable air transport model for the long term. Operational efficiencies and improved reliability could be achieved with a broader range of aircraft which would include essential medevac cover.
Continuing to keep trying to find operators having to comply with our inadequate runway will be false economy for our future. It is time to rethink our approach and start rebuilding the economy that we know is awaiting.
Concern was also expressed at the meeting at the potential damage Aurigny’s winter schedule could cause the island. Despite it keeping to the mandate of the Memorandum of Understanding, the timings of the flights are unacceptable.
Chamber asks Aurigny to reconsider their proposed schedule.