More hangars for private jets to be built at Airport?

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Last month, it was revealed that Environment Minister John Young had given his final approval to plans to build three of the structures after a nearby resident lodged a planning appeal against the project.

And now Doug Bannister has said that more hangars could be constructed if there was continued demand.

‘We have high-demand to fill the hangars that we are building, and we will have left-over demand that will not be satisfied,’ he said.

‘The question is whether the left-over demand is enough to warrant the construction of another facility so that we have the confidence to move forward on it.

‘There are another two to three locations around the airfield where we could construct a variety of different kind of hangarage.’

Mr Bannister added that when he first moved to Jersey seven years ago, it became clear that the growth of Jersey’s private jet market was constrained by the lack of facilities.

‘There were some mixed opinions on corporate aviation at that time, depending on who you talked to, but what was clear was that our market was most probably constrained by the facilities that we had on offer,’ he said.

‘In starting to reach out more widely, we came to realise how fast the sector was growing, and how popular the sector is for Jersey. We also saw the significant opportunity to improve the facilities here.

‘A statistic that would surprise many people is that we are the fifth-busiest airport in the London area for business jets. That shows that we already have a pretty significant market but we feel we could do better.’

Those who want to buy a private jet can pay between $2 million for a small single-engine aircraft or up to around $70 million for a top-range model, capable of flying over 8,000 miles at 610 mph.

Jonathan Crick, chief commercial officer for Ports of Jersey, said that some potential buyers of aircraft were put off because of a lack of hangars.

‘We also speak to the [corporate jet] community, not only those who have a share in these sorts of assets but also those who are looking to buy a corporate jet but are held back because they do not currently have a facility where they can store it safely.

‘The right thing to do is wait until we have high-occupancy levels over a period of time and, when we have established that there is continued demand as traffic through Jersey grows, we believe we have an opportunity to look at a phase-two expansion [of hangars] in a few years’ time.’

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