Decision taken on future use of abandoned private aircraft

From Jersey Airport,
05 June 2019

Ports of Jersey has assumed ownership of an abandoned light aircraft after a public appeal in March 2019 to trace the owner was unsuccessful.

Despite the appeal, the owner did not come forward and attempts to pursue ownership via alternative means have now concluded. As a result, Ports of Jersey, having assumed ownership of the aircraft has announced what is to become of it in the future.

The single-engine Gulfstream American AA-5A Cheetah aircraft has been parked on the airfield at Jersey Airport for many years. Having been deregistered by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority in 2011 the aircraft has since been deemed beyond repair and not air worthy. 

Before steps could be made to remove it, Ports of Jersey followed due process by publicly appealing to the owner or someone who knew the whereabouts of the registered owner to come forward. In the meantime, numerous approaches were made to Ports of Jersey from both individuals and businesses offering to take over ownership and remove it from the site. Having considered the options available, the Airport Director, Inez Bartolo, has confirmed that the aircraft will become the property of Ports of Jersey and remain on the airfield to be used for two future purposes.

Over the coming months the ‘shell’ of the aircraft will be relocated elsewhere on the airfield and will be used by the airport fire crew for training purposes. The aircraft cockpit will also be stripped and put to good use by the creation of a ‘mock up’ of a small aircraft as part of Ports of Jersey’s CSR commitment.

Mrs Bartolo explains, “Ports of Jersey facilitates a number of visits to the harbour and airport throughout the year for various schools and community groups to experience for themselves life ‘behind the scenes’. Part of these familiarisation tours usually include a visit to air traffic control, the terminal buildings and the airport fire station. Due to timing constraints it’s very rare to be able to get on board a working aircraft but by having a ‘mock up’ version it’s another way to engage and educate visitors of how an aircraft works and who knows, by experiencing it for themselves, it may encourage many youngsters to consider a future career in the aviation world”.

Volunteer fire crews at Jersey Airport will undertake the task of stripping out the cockpit and relocating the aircraft shell over the coming months in the hope both will be available for use by the end of summer 2019.