Guernsey Airport opened for business in 1939, just a few months before the German army invaded and occupied the Channel Islands for the duration of the Second World War. Prior to the opening of the current site, planes landed on level ground at L’Eree.
The pages linked below chart the development of Guernsey Airport over the years. Click each heading to read the full entry.
1935: The States of Guernsey proposes a new airport
Although public opinion was firmly against building the new airport on high ground at La Villaise, in St Andrew, the States of Guernsey voted it through.
1937: Building work begins
Two years after the new airport was approved, work began on constructing four grass runways and a terminal building.
1939: Airport director appointed
Flight Lieutenant FA Swoffer was appointed to run the Guernsey Airport. Swoffer had been shot down in his own plane during the First World War.
1939: Guernsey Airport opens for business
Although the airport opened on 5 May, there wasn’t any time to set up regular scheduled services before German forces used its landing strips to invade.
1939: First arrests made at Guernsey Airport
The airport had only been open for a month when police made their first arrests on the site, of two men trying to board a flight to London.
1940: German forces land at the airport
German planes bombed St Peter Port shortly before forces landed at Guernsey Airport and the Second World War occupation of the Channel Islands began.
1940: RAF bombed Guernsey Airport
British aircraft bombed the runways and hangers, and many German planes that had been parked in the open air.
1954: A plane hit a car while landing at Guernsey Airport
A driver had a lucky escape when an incoming plane clipped the roof of his vehicle with its landing gear.
1961: Car plane crash causes fireball
The pilot and co-pilot were killed when a Silver City Airways plane from Bournemouth crashed while trying to land. It was carrying cars as cargo, as well as seven passengers and one member of cabin crew.
1968: Aurigny Air Services founded
The Islanders’ Airline was founded on neighbouring Alderney when it looked like the island was at risk of being cut off from the other Channel Islands.
1981: An Islander aircraft crashed on Guernsey
The inter-island flight was arriving from Jersey when its primary fuel tanks ran dry and it came down in a field.
1997: AirUK Fokker overshoots runway
The aircraft was arriving from Southampton and had 50 passengers aboard when it came off the end of Guernsey runway in strong winds, cloud and rain.
1999: Channel Express Airways plane crashes
The aircraft hit a house when the three tonnes of newspapers it was carrying shifted and set it off balance.
2004: Guernsey’s new airport terminal opens for business
The new building replaced the 1930s-built terminal. It had taken just under two years to build and had capacity for 30% more passengers than its predecessor.