Alderney Airport seeks autonomy to help manage losses

image captionAlderney Airport ran at a loss of £768,000 in 2011

Representatives from Alderney Airport are planning to seek more autonomy over the running of the facility.

Roy Burke, chief executive of the States of Alderney, said the airport's losses could be dealt with if the island took over its management.

Alderney Airport ran at a loss of £768,000 in 2011.

Mr Burke said talks were being held with Guernsey's Public Services Department (PSD), which currently manages the airport.

He said: "I've said for a number of years... that we should have a greater say in the running of the airport, and we're working with our colleagues in PSD to find ways in which we can achieve that.

"If you've got a stake in something, you're more likely to take notice of it and make sure it operates as efficiently as it can."

Mr Burke said in terms of managing losses, one of the options being examined was the downgrading of the airport.

He said: "The vast majority of costs in Alderney Airport are associated with fire and air traffic control, and that leads on from the classification of the airport.

"It's not easy to downgrade an airport, not easy to re-classify, but that's the sort of thing we're going to look at."

Mr Burke also said he would be taking a trip to the Isles of Scilly, in an attempt to find out how the airport and tourism are managed there.

He said of the trip: "It's to see how they operate their airport and see if we can learn any lessons.

"I think this is all about economic development in its much wider sense. If we are more successful with our economic development strategy... the airport starts to make money."

States of Guernsey accounts show Alderney Airport has been running at a loss for a number of years.

Mr Burke said: "Sometimes we take our eye off the ball in terms of the finances."

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