Guernsey Air Links - Statement from John Clacy, incoming IoD Guernsey Branch Chairman

“The recent seminar on air links was organised because air connectivity was highlighted as the number one priority, by a considerable margin, in a survey issued for the IoD convention last September. In an earlier business survey, 93% of the 668 respondents did not feel that the island has adequately future-proofed its transport links, while a recent social media petition on the issue of air fares attracted nearly 6000 signatures. The consistent message is that expectations have not been met.  

"These results illustrate that Guernsey's air links are more than a policy priority or an exercise in stakeholder management. Our air links are an intrinsic part of the experience of living and doing business in Guernsey. For some, they determine whether it is practical to live here (or not) and over the long term, the quality of our air links will determine how the island develops as an economy and a society. Guernsey’s air links are synonymous with its perception as a destination and its brand in the international community.

"The IoD supports policy measures which broaden options for the business community while sustaining existing connections. However, to “fix” air links it is evident that policy focus needs to be matched with committed resources - there is no magic operational fix and the issue is too important for the island as a whole to ignore.
With respect to the pending review of air infrastructure, we look forward to understanding how, and when, the Policy & Resources Committee will be deploying its "dry powder”.

"Although financial discipline is important, and the repeated emphasis in debate on the need for a robust economic business case as a precondition for investment is sound, the policy framework surrounding these investment decisions also needs to recognise there will always be an element of risk in any investment decision and needs to appreciate the wider social aspects of air links as part of the Islands  “health wealth and happiness” agenda.”