This priority will provide support to the maintenance and investigation of options for the expansion of air and sea links so that Guernsey is well connected with the UK and Europe.
It is essential that the island has robust, sustainable, reliable and affordable air and sea links in order to deliver a dynamic and growing economy. This incorporates business travel to and from the Island, visitor and local travel to and from the Island, and the import and export of freight.
In December 2018, the States of Guernsey agreed its Air and Sea Route Policy Development and Investment Objectives. The core strategic objectives for the island's air and sea links are that they must:
- Meet the majority, if not all, of the current and future requirements of the residents of the Bailiwick;
- Enable economic growth; and
- Increase visitor numbers.
And critical success factors were identified as follows:
Air and Sea Links must:
- Act as an economic enabler;
- Act as a social/cultural enabler;
- Be affordable;
- Be sustainable;
- Optimise choice and flexibility of connections;
- Provide reliability and continuity of service; and
- Deliver the air and sea link connection priorities.
In April 2018 the States of Guernsey, acting through the Policy & Resources Committee, identified its preferred supplier to undertake the Review of Strategic Air & Sea Links Infrastructure. The terms of this wide ranging review were agreed with the Committee for Economic Development, and evaluated options to determine how the Island can best secure and enhance its air and sea links, including the infrastructure that is required to deliver this, and including issues in relation to the airport runway in Guernsey. Part 1 of this review was completed in August 2018. The States Air and Sea Link Investment Objectives Policy Letter can be found by clicking here.
In April 2019, the States endorsed the Policy & Resources Committee to approve funding of up to £400,000 to commission and undertake work on contingency options relating to the Island's sea links. The Policy Letter that was considered at this meeting can be found here.
In November 2019 the late Deputy Jan Kuttelwasher brought a successful requête which directed the Committee for Economic Development to develop a business case and cost benefit analysis for the extension of the runway at Guernsey airport to create a runway of at least 1,700m and to report back to the Assembly by May 2020. The Committee commissioned Frontier Economics to undertake an Economic Impact Analysis of the runway extension, as well as a high-level Social and Environmental Impact Analysis. Consultancy firm RPS was commissioned to undertake a high level cost and engineering analysis.
A summary of the provisional analysis conducted by Frontier Economics is available here: Frontier Economics - Guernsey airport runway extension - SUMMARY REPORT [295kb]. It is the Committee's view that the report's findings will need to be reviewed in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Committee will decide on the terms of a Policy letter to bring to the Assembly, with a full business case and cost benefit analysis for an extension of Guernsey airport's runway to at least 1,700m, once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control and the future of the local and UK airline industry is clear. The President of the Committee for Economic Development made a statement to the Assembly on 20th May 2020. Click here