Potential setback for Guernsey's Airport expansion amid fiscal concerns.

The resolution concerning the proposed extension of Guernsey's airport runway may encounter delays, according to the Committee for Economic Development (ED). Although the ED acknowledges that the planned £79m extension, stretching the current 4,800ft (1,463m) runway to 5,324ft (1,623m), could attract more travelers, the committee's President, Neil Inder, emphasizes that it's an inopportune moment for considerable financial investments.

The ED suggests the most opportune time for any extension lies within the upcoming planned maintenance window, slated to occur in the next five to a decade. The committee's report also assures that the extension will remain within the airport's existing confines, ensuring the preservation of the eastern valley, residential properties, the Villiaze Road, Route des Blicqs, and an adjacent cemetery.

Moreover, a policy letter noted that the expansion would facilitate the landing of narrow body jet aircraft, which constitutes the majority of UK and EU carriers' fleets, including budget airlines. This could potentially inaugurate new routes, decrease average ticket prices, and expand visitors, as well as destination options for residents.

However, the plan acknowledges the potential drawbacks, such as causing the States-owned airline, Aurigny, to redirect its focus from Gatwick to UK regional routes, which could consequently diminish its profitability and economic contribution to Guernsey. Additionally, it flags potential risks concerning Guernsey's connectivity with Gatwick.

The committee recommended that the final decision lies in the hands of the States Trading Supervisory Board (STSB). Notably, the advisory costs accrued by the ED, excluding a report commissioned by STSB from York Aviation, amounted to £304,614; this sum fell £56,000 short of the projected budget of £360,000.

Guernsey is the second largest island in the Channel Islands.