Statement by Chamber President for the Guernsey Press


Dear Editor,

Below is a Chamber statement by Chamber’s President following the successful acceptance of Option C+ for the Alderney Runway and airport.

“We are delighted that after more than two full days of debate, the Guernsey States has agreed Option C+ for Alderney Airport and Runway.

Our main thrust all along has been not for ourselves, but for the future of our island relating to economic stability and growth.   There have been some of mature years not wishing for change that have been supported by some who do not live here and, surprisingly, by several private aviators.   But almost all within the Alderney Chamber of Commerce, having a representation of about 25% of the island’s population, along with so many others who are committed to the island, have been adamant from the outset that we must look to the future.   There has been no other option.

If our runway were to remain at 877 metres, what airline is there that could offer a reliable and robust service at the next PSO which is only three years away.  It is possible we could be left with nothing.

Should that scenario happen, Alderney would become an even greater financial burden to Guernsey as this could well trigger an economic decline with businesses perhaps leaving (or certainly not expanding) and businesses would surely not wish to relocate here.   Such an occurrence could cause a reduction in population (including obviously schooling) resulting in a heavier financial burden being placed on the Bailiwick tax payer (excluding Sark).

Such an economic decline could be catastrophic.   It is paramount for us to keep and attract younger people to the island.   To accomplish that, we need a sound employment and job structure – and to accomplish that, we need a sound air transport structure.

Our aim is to be a more competent self sufficient island standing on its own feet to a greater degree as time progresses.

None of us has any idea as to where aviation will be in 10, 20 or 30 years time, but to remain in the present – which is the past as from tomorrow – at 877 metres, will surely not attract interest from alternative carriers.

Our simplistic aim has been to future-proof Alderney for the coming years and generations.   This has now been achieved.”

Andrew Eggleston