Wait until flight has landed to alleviate forecourt congestion4th December 2023
Guernsey Ports is encouraging people to use live flight information to better plan their journey to Guernsey Airport, to help alleviate traffic congestion on the forecourt and make picking up passengers more convenient for everyone.
Congestion occurs most often at the end of the day when there are several inbound flights, and particularly on Sunday evenings, when four UK flights land in the space of 30 minutes.
On occasions, when vehicles have started circulating the forecourt before their passenger has arrived, it has led to traffic coming to a standstill.
This has been an ongoing challenge and, heading into the busy Christmas period, islanders are being asked to either wait for flights to land before arriving or make use of the 30 minutes free car parking.
People collecting family or friends are asked to only go to the forecourt when their passenger is ready to be collected.
Guernsey Ports passenger operations manager Harrison Bird said: “Most people will know from experience that once an aircraft has landed, it takes some time to disembark and transit through the terminal building.
“So for anyone coming to the airport to meet passengers, the most convenient option could be to wait until you know the flight has landed before you leave home.”
“Up to date information on flight arrival and departure times is available online at www.airport.gg and websites such as www.Flightradar24.com provide live information on any flight, including the time the aircraft took off, the estimated scheduled arrival, and even shows where it is on a map.
“It is also updated as soon as the aircraft touches down, which can save people from coming up to the airport early and having to park for longer than 30 minutes.
“This would undoubtedly alleviate pressure on the forecourt, while saving people time and frustration from being stuck in traffic gridlock following a late flight.”
Traffic counters on the forecourt show around 60,000 vehicle movements every month, with no significant difference to forecourt traffic since new parking tariffs were introduced recently.
Mr Bird said that further measures are being actively considered and this could include limiting access to the forecourt at certain times.
“Ultimately, we cannot allow vehicles to remain stationary outside the terminal building for prolonged periods of time, for safety and security reasons.
“When traffic issues have arisen, it is because many vehicles circulating the forecourt were there to meet passengers who had not yet landed.
“This has prevented other drivers from collecting travellers who were waiting outside the terminal, causing further congestion and tailbacks in traffic, which can then block access to the main car parks.”
This congestion occurs most often at the end of the day. Mr Bird said that Guernsey Ports continues to work with stakeholders to balance airline schedules with the needs of travellers.
“We appreciate that timetables are established many months in advance, and we acknowledge that there is a natural demand from passengers to return to the island last thing on a Sunday.
“We are doing our best to accommodate the needs of travellers and the airline schedules.”