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Ports defend £42m Airport plan after review decision

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PORTS of Jersey have expressed concern about the States’ decision to order a review of the £42m Airport project.

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Chairman Mark Chown defended the company’s plans – which include the demolition of the original terminal building – following Tuesday’s States debate during which some Members claimed it was wrong to go ahead while the state of the airline industry was uncertain.

‘Ports of Jersey has always been very clear that the rationale behind the Future Airport project has been to address the safety instructions issued by the director of civil aviation. As the Assembly was informed, the DCA reaffirmed his instructions in relation to the 1937 building in the last few days, following review of a report recently provided by aviation consultants ASAP,’ Mr Chown said.

He added that Ports would provide every support throughout the review.

‘It is in everyone’s interest that this matter is brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible,’ he added.

On Tuesday the States adopted a proposition from Deputy Russell Labey asking for the redevelopment project to be reviewed in the light of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Deputy also focused on the fate of the original terminal building which Ports has permission to demolish, following a decision by the previous Environment Minister in 2014. Deputy Labey has asked for consideration to be given to retaining the building in any new design and for the original planning decision to be reviewed.

Last month Save Jersey’s Heritage published a report by aviation consultants Aeronautical Services and Procedures which stated that there was no need to demolish the building for safety reasons and that additional restrictions which had been threatened by the regulator were unnecessary.

The JEP has asked Ports for a response to the safety analysis but Mr Chown said Ports had no further comment to make at this stage.

Rod McLoughlin

By Rod McLoughlin
Reporter

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