|IATA: GCI – ICAO: EGJB|
|Operator||States of Guernsey|
|Elevation AMSL||336 ft / 102 m|
|Passenger change 12–13||0.5%|
|Movements change 12–13||2.8%|
|Sources: UK AIP at NATS
Statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority
Guernsey Airport (IATA: GCI, ICAO: EGJB) is the largest airport in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and is the only airport on the island of Guernsey. It is located in the Forest, a parish in Guernsey, 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km; 2.9 mi) west southwest of St. Peter Port.
The airport was officially opened on 5 May 1939. However, regular air services only commenced in October 1946. By 1948, BEA were operating a daily service to Southampton using Douglas DC-3 aircraft. From 1951, Jersey Airlines flew BEA associate scheduled services to Southampton at weekends using Rapide eight-seat biplane airliners.
In 1960 there were four grass runways, with lengths ranging from 2,040 ft (622 m) to 3,060 ft (933 m). 1960 also saw the construction of a new tarmacked runway of a length of 4,800 ft (1,463 m). In early 2000s alongside the work on the new terminal, Commerce and Employment claimed an extension was necessary to allow use of larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737, or other larger jets for trans-European flights. In 2012, a set of four two-day closures under the Airport 2040 programme allowed the States of Guernsey to resurface the existing runway, extend safety areas and also reconstruct parts of the concrete apron areas. Taxiways which connect the aprons to the runway were also resurfaced and realigned, whilst a new drainage system was implemented. New airfield ground lighting and navigational aids were also installed.
Work started on a new terminal building in 2002, which became operational on 19 April 2004. The old terminal was demolished in May 2004 to make space for additional aircraft stands and a passenger walkway from the new terminal. The new terminal was designed to be able to handle about 1.25 million passengers per year. In 2013, 886,396 passengers used the airport, with 49,403 aircraft movements.
Flybe are unable to operate their Embraer 195 aircraft into Guernsey due to the low strength of the runway, and elected to operate the smaller de Havilland Dash 8s. In 2008 business leaders and deputies were arguing the case for an extension from its current length of 1,463 m (4,800 ft) to 1,700 m (5,577 ft). Following several years of debate it was announced on 2 October 2009 that Guernsey's airport runway and apron will be extended and repaired at an estimated cost of £81m.
The proposal is to add runway safety areas, RESAs, extend the take-off section by 120 m (390 ft), and displace the landing section to the west, the first of a two phase runway extension. The extension has mixed support, with some islanders and politicians campaigning against it, while others support it. The issue was settled by the island's government, with an Engineered materials arrestor system (EMAS) considered to save space. The runway extension and Airport 2040 works were voted for by States members in 2011.
Airlines and destinations
|Air Berlin||Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt|
|Aurigny Air Services||Alderney, Bristol, Dinard, East Midlands, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Manchester
|Blue Islands||Jersey, Southampton
|CityJet||Seasonal charter: Rotterdam|
|Flybe||Birmingham, Exeter, Jersey, Southampton|
operated by Loganair
Atlantic Airlines operates from Bournemouth carrying mail, and from London Luton bringing in newspapers and DHL parcels. They also bring in general freight from Coventry. Aurigny Air Services carries some other post and also parcels on behalf of carriers including FedEx and UPS.
A large number of single and twin-engined light and business aircraft are based at the airport. These, and numerous visiting general aviation aircraft, are serviced by based aviation engineering firms located in several hangars located at the southwest and southeast portions of the airport.
- Aiglle for business/general aviation
- Aurigny Air Services for themselves, Blue Islands and Air Berlin
- Menzies Aviation for Flybe and VLM/Cityjet
- ASG (Aircraft Servicing Guernsey) for business/general aviation
The airport currently runs two liaison groups; one for commercial airport users and one for airport neighbours. In 2002, an overturned firetruck discharged PFOS fire retardant onto the airport apron and surrounding soil. PFOS was added to Annex B of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in May 2009 and has been shown to cause chronic kidney disease amongst people and animals exposed to larger quantities. Traces of PFOS spilt later entered the island's water supply although quantities were not high enough to make it unsafe to drink. However, because the airport is at the top of the island the accident highlighted the vulnerability of the water supply to airport effluence and other water pollutants. Aerodrome works have subsequently involved environmental engineering projects to better contain and divert contaminated effluence away from the water supply. As part of the Airport 2040 development, a new drainage system is being installed and this will allow airport effluence to be contained in a manner which does not affect water supplies in the future.
Accidents and incidents
On 7 December 1997 an F-27 (registration: G-BNCY) operated by AirUK arriving from Southampton overshot the runway while landing in high cross winds. The Fokker Aircraft aquaplaned on standing water, left the runway end and slid on the wet grass. The aircraft nosed into the cross wind, ending up some 100 m (330 ft) off the centre line in a field to the south of the runway. There were no fatalities among the 50 passengers and 4 crew members, although the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and subsequently written off..
On 12 January 1999 a F-27 (registration: G-CHNL) operating a cargo flight for Channel Express arriving from Luton crashed short of runway 27 after deploying full flap on approach. As the flap deployed, the cargo moved aft and exited the aeroplane's mass and balance limits, the flight crew initiated a go-around which further exacerbated problem by raising the gear and applying power. The aeroplane pitched up uncontrollably and stalled which resulted in the aircraft impacting the conservatory of a house located under the flight path. Fortunately no one on the ground was injured, however both flight crew were killed by the resulting fire which engulfed the aircraft. The investigation concluded the aeroplane was not loaded in accordance with the loadsheet. .
- Pinnegar, Edward (31 July 2010). A History of Aviation in Alderney. Amberley Publishing, Stroud. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-84868-981-7.
- Scott-Hill, Ian (1 April 1972). Channel Silver Wings: A Record of Service. Jersey Artists, Saint Martin, Jersey. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-901845-08-5.
- Doyle, Neville (1991). From Sea-Eagle to Flamingo: Channel Island Airlines, 1923–1939. Self Publishing. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-85421-103-3.
- Guernsey – EGJB
- CAA: UK Annual Airport Statistics
- Merton Jones, A.C., British Independent Airlines since 1946, Merseyside Aviation Society & LAAS, 1976, ISBN 0-902420-09-7
- "Airport 2040". States of Guernsey. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Contact us." Aurigny Air Services. Retrieved on 12 February 2011. "Aurigny Air Services Ltd States Airport La Planque Lane Forest Guernsey, GY8 OTD Channel Islands."
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 13 April 1967. 562.
- Flybe Blames The Runway as Gatwick Jet Link Ceases At End of October
- Flybe is Committed Although Runway Has Cost us Millions
Media related to Guernsey Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Current weather for EGJB at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for GCI at Aviation Safety Network