Airport Systems Under Review

Chief Minister Alf Cannan has said the lighting and approach systems at Ronaldsway remain under review but improvements will be considered if there is a clear benefit.

Mr Cannan was asked about any potential damage to the island’s reputation after a series of cancelled flights before and during TT.

In total, nine flights were cancelled over the TT period, five from easyJet and four from Loganair. 

During the sitting, Jason Moorhouse asked the Chief about lighting at the airport. This follows suggestions that if the system at Ronaldsway was updated, fewer flights would be cancelled.

Mr Cannan said that diversions due to poor weather happen throughout the year and that: ‘As an island with its airport in a coastal location, visibility – as one component of the weather – may occasionally be a problem.’

He added: ‘Airlines and aircraft operators take into account many factors when calculating their minima for landing, one of which is the approach lighting configuration. The Airport’s lighting system supports our Category 1 Instrument Landing System which is very typical for airports of a similar scale. 

‘The physical infrastructure changes required to support aircraft landings in much lower visibility would not be limited to the lighting and their benefit for the number of flights affected, when balanced against the investment required, is not clear-cut.’

Pushed further by Mr Moorhouse and John Wannenburgh, the Chief said that operations and facilitation at Ronaldsway will remain under review and ‘if there is a clear-cut business case for us to make improvements to the Airport that will benefit our economy, then we should give the utmost serious consideration to that.