New Director of Civil Aviation appointed for the Channel Islands

John Nicholas takes on the top job at the Channel Islands' aviation regulator. Credit: Channel Islands Office of the Director of Civil Aviation

A new Director of Civil Aviation has been appointed for the Channel Islands.

John Nicholas, who previously held a number of senior roles with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, takes on the top job at the Channel Islands' aviation regulator.

The islands haven't had a permanent Director of Civil Aviation since Guernsey politicians voted to oust Dominic Lazarus from the role in 2020 for "gross incompetence".

Former Jersey Airport Director, Inez Bartolo, and Guernsey's Ash Nicholas have been each island's acting Director of Civil Aviation since Mr Lazarus's removal.

Mr Nicholas says he already has some experience working in the Channel Islands:

"Having consulted on Channel Islands aviation safety projects previously, I am looking forward to working in the islands again. The existing teams in Jersey and Guernsey have done a great job in the absence of a full-time DCA and I look forward to building on their work."

His appointment has been welcomed by senior officials in both Guernsey and Jersey.

Guernsey's President of Economic Development, Deputy Neil Inder, says Mr Nicholas will initially be in the role for six months but could stay for another three years if both governments agree:

"We’re pleased to welcome John to this important role. He has a lot of experience. John is initially appointed as Acting Director of Civil Aviation for a 6-month period. In accordance with the Aviation Laws, it is then intended that the States of Guernsey and Jersey’s Minister for External Relations will be asked whether they wish to confirm Mr Nicholas as Director of Civil Aviation for a further period of 36 months."

Jersey's External Relations Minister, Deputy Philip Ozouf, added: "John is a highly experienced aviation regulator and has worked in several senior roles at the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as an aviation safety consultant and within airline commercial operations. He brings years of aviation safety and regulation experience to the Office, and we wish him every success in this critical role."

Mr Nicholas is due to take up his new role in mid-September.