Alderney runway extension 'would deliver savings for taxpayers'

  • ITV Channel TV's Jonathan Wills speaks to Deputy Peter Roffey

A senior Guernsey politician says extending Alderney's runway would mean a saving for taxpayers over 15 years.

Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the States Trading and Supervisory Board, says extending the runway to allow larger aircraft to land will reduce costs in the longer term.

He told ITV News, "taking the opportunity to extend the runway allows larger aircraft to land there, that reduces the cost of the service and increases the resilience of the service. So there's benefits to Alderney and actually a saving to the Bailiwick taxpayer."

It is is one of three options which have been put out to tender, but has the support of both the States of Alderney and Alderney Chamber of Commerce.

The options are:

  • Option A: Improve the condition of the runway to allow current operations to continue.

  • Option B: Improve the condition of the runway but also strengthen it

  • Option C: Extending the runway to allow larger planes to land at the airport.

Extending the runway would require upgrades to security systems at the airport - though Deputy Roffey says investment at the terminal is necessary, given the state of the existing facilities.

He said, "if you've flown through Alderney recently - and I don't want to insult their terminal as I'm sure the locals have become very attached to it over the decades - you'll realise it needs to be replaced anyway. It's an ageing porta cabin which really has come to the end of its useful life and it's expensive to maintain. Over the life length of the runway, we'd have had to do that anyway. So the add on cost is actually quite modest."

Ports of Guernsey says the current approach of temporary repairs to the runway is 'not sustainable or economical', and has discounted a fourth option of doing nothing as this would lead to further deterioration of the runway.