Saint Helena Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from St Helena Airport)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Saint Helena Airport
St Helena Airport logo.svg
First Comair Boeing 737-800 flight to Saint Helena Airport (191).jpg
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Saint Helena Government
Operator Lanseria Airport
Location Longwood, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Opened June 2016
Elevation AMSL 1,017 ft / 310 m
Coordinates 15°57′33″S 5°38′45″W / 15.95917°S 5.64583°W / -15.95917; -5.64583Coordinates: 15°57′33″S 5°38′45″W / 15.95917°S 5.64583°W / -15.95917; -5.64583
Website sthelenaairport.com
Map
HLE is located in South Atlantic
HLE
HLE
Location of St Helena Airport
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 1,950 6,398 Concrete
Sources: AIP St Helena,[1] St Helena Government[2]
Location of the airport on St Helena
Cercle rouge 50%.svg
Location of the airport on St Helena

Saint Helena Airport (IATA: HLE, ICAO: FHSH) is an international airport on Saint Helena, a remote island in the south Atlantic Ocean, in the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.

The construction of the runway was finished in 2015 and the airport opened in 2016. The inaugural scheduled flight was delayed but general aviation, charter, and medical evacuation flights were able to serve the airport from May 2016.[3][4]

The airport began scheduled commercial services on 14 October 2017, when the South African carrier Airlink inaugurated a weekly service from O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, via Windhoek, Namibia, using an Embraer E190-100IGW,[5][6][7][8][9] about one and a half years after the originally expected inauguration date, and with a smaller-sized aircraft, because of wind shear problems affecting the airport.[10][11][12] Additionally, monthly charter flights operate between Ascension Island and Saint Helena.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Saint Helena is more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) from the nearest major landmass. Prior to the opening of the airport, the island was only reachable by sea, making it one of the most remote populated places on earth, measured as travel time from major cities. Sea journeys currently take five days from Cape Town, with departures once every three weeks.

The first consideration of an airport on St Helena was made in 1943 by the South African Air Force, which undertook a survey on Prosperous Bay Plain from October 1943 until January 1944, but concluded that, while technically feasible, an airport was not a practical proposition.[13] From the 1960s, there was an idea[by whom?] to build an airport on the Island. In 1999, this was taken up by the island government.

It was suggested that an airport would extend the United Kingdom's capabilities to carry out airborne missions in the South Atlantic region, such as maritime patrols in accordance with international fishing agreements (e.g., International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), counter-piracy missions along important trade routes, and also airlift operations notably into Southern Africa.[citation needed]

According to analysts,[who?] the UK government's decision to finally go ahead with the airport, after long delays, seems to be driven in part by concerns over a continuing tense standoff with Argentina in the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute. The island is about 3,812 miles (6,135 km) – seven hours and 40 minutes' flight time from the Falklands. But, analysts say that was nevertheless an improvement over the present state of isolation from the UK for both St Helena and the Falklands.[14]

The following possible benefits were also factors in the decision-making process:

  • Air access would allow St Helena to develop its tourism sector.[citation needed]
  • The new wharf in Rupert's Bay could allow regularly passing cruise ships to land passengers at the island and bring tourists if sized appropriately. The lack of a protected landing facility represents a limitation on the development of cruise tourism. In unfavourable sea conditions, landing is hazardous and potential revenue is lost as many cruise ships refuse to allow passengers to land in such circumstances. In addition, because there is no protected landing facility, many cruise companies do not incorporate St Helena into their itineraries. The sea is roughest in summer which marks the peak of the cruise season.[15]
  • Medical evacuations to South Africa for treatment of serious cases of illness would be sped up significantly: it may take up to one month until transport to South Africa by RMS St Helena becomes available.[citation needed]
  • The availability of heavy construction equipment would facilitate alternative energy projects, such as the construction of larger wind turbines, a tidal power plant or a dam with a hydro-power station in one of St Helena's valleys.[16] Limitations in cargo size of RMS St Helena and the unavailability of a large crane prohibit construction of larger wind turbines.[17]

In contrast to the projected benefits, there were concerns that the proposed construction on the Prosperous Bay Plain would be detrimental to the local environment. Specifically, Prosperous Bay Plain was one of the few remaining sites on Saint Helena that held significant ecological diversity. According to a 2004 review by Atkins Management Consultants, the survival of numerous endemic species critically depended on preservation and protection of the location. It was also an important[according to whom?] nesting site for the wirebird, Saint Helena's national bird which is listed as vulnerable. Although the St Helena Leisure Corporation (Shelco) was a major force pushing for the airport's construction, its co-founder Sir Nigel Thompson was a former chairman of the environmental charity Campaign to Protect Rural England.[18][19][20]

Bidding process[edit]

After a long period of rumour and consultation, in March 2005 the British government announced plans to construct an airport in St Helena, expected to be completed by 2010 and funded by the Department for International Development (DfID).

According to Private Eye magazine, all of the companies tendering for the job of building and running the airport had by late September 2006 withdrawn from bidding for the project. The local Access Office explained that it seemed the bidders considered the DfID was unhelpful by not providing the possibility of on-site investigations in order to complete a detailed design before providing a fixed price for the project. According to the DfID's Director for Overseas Territories, his department remained committed to an airport for St Helena.[21]

DfID restarted the procurement process to identify a suitable Design, Build and Operate (DBO) contractor in October 2006. Capability Statements were received by DfID in March 2007 and four bidders were pre-approved for the DBO contract and a further three applicants have been pre-approved for the Air Service Provider contract. The applicants for the DBO visited the island for six months from June 2007 before submitting their final proposals, and by January 2008 DfID was down to a shortlist of two bidders.

There were delays by the British government,[13] which went up to Prime Minister Gordon Brown who insisted on personally reviewing the paperwork.[22] An approved bidder was appointed in 2008, the Italian company Impregilo. The project was suspended in November 2008, because of financial pressures brought on by the financial crisis of 2007–2010.

It was reported in The Guardian on 10 December 2008 that UK Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander had announced a "pause in negotiations over the St Helena airport contract",[23] apparently related to the 2008 economic downturn.

The St. Helena Leisure Corporation (Shelco) was set up by Arup's Sir Nigel Thompson and Berwin Leighton Paisner's Robert Jones, who planned to construct luxury resorts and a hotel to be run by Oberoi Hotels & Resorts in conjunction with the airport. Though real estate was to be sold before construction had started, the proposal was turned down by the local government and the DfID.[18]

The cost of airport was reported to be £285.5 million for DfID in April 2016.[12]

Airport construction[edit]

Approximately £202 million was funded for design and construction by South African engineering group Basil Read (Pty) Ltd. The UK government also granted additional funds of up to £10 million in shared-risk contingency, and £35.1 million for 10 years of operation by South African airport operator Lanseria Airport. According to the St Helena government, this was 20% less in real terms from the 2008 price, taking into account inflation and the value of the pound. The airport would be the largest single investment ever made in the island.[24]

However, no final contracts had been signed by January 2009 and as construction had not commenced, the island's governor, Andrew Gurr, travelled to London in an attempt to speed up the process. On 22 July 2010 the British government agreed to assist in payment for the new airport.[25] On 3 November 2011 Governor Mark Capes announced construction contracts had been signed.[24]

Construction on Prosperous Bay Plain, February 2015

On 4 November 2011 Basil Read was awarded the contract to construct an airport on St Helena Island.[26] The first representatives of Basil Read visited the island on Saturday, 19 November 2011 for initial investigations and discussions.[27] Following a second team's visit during December 2011 Basil Read's project manager settled on the island and the first St Helenian citizen was employed.[28]

Basil Read CEO Heyns in November 2011 said the design phase would begin immediately and anticipated that construction could begin in May 2012, which at peak would employ some 300 people of whom as many locals as possible should be involved.[29] Construction is said to take place over a 48-month period.[30]

Preparation works began in early 2012 in Rupert's Valley on the west coast, which included establishing storage facilities, a temporary fuel farm and the design and construction of a temporary wharf.[31] A new jetty was built at Rupert's Bay to enable the landing of supplies and construction vehicles.

Only four weeks after the approval for the airport to be constructed and years before operations would start, Geo. Robson & Co. (Conveyors) Ltd. had already completed and shipped a baggage carousel for the airport. The company stated that with a 12-metre (39 ft) perimeter it was one of the smallest baggage carousels they had ever manufactured.[32] Until the airport opened it was planned for use at St Helena's harbour to deliver baggage to passengers arriving by RMS St Helena.[citation needed]

Construction of the airport terminal and air traffic control tower.

Logistics of the airport's construction were critical, because of the island's isolated location and the lack of construction equipment, which would require everything such as extremely heavy duty equipment and materials to be shipped in, thus resulting in a huge and unique logistics operation.[28] Due to the limited landing infrastructure, with no breakwater or mooring facilities at the sea front, new harbour facilities capable of handling construction equipment and fuel supplies were constructed at Rupert's Bay.[33] Fuel transfers between Rupert's Bay and the aerodrome, connected by a 14-kilometre (9 mi) haul road, were assumed to be by road tanker for 20 years, after which a capital allowance was made for enlargement of the bulk fuel storage and the installation of a fuel transfer pipeline.[34]

Basil Read sourced its own ship, a roll-on/roll-off vessel[30] called NP Glory 4 flying the Thai flag,[35] which docked for the first time at St Helena on 11 July 2012 and subsequently provided regular supplies to the island, including cargo and personnel for the project.[31][36] The company also considered developing a temporary runway to enable the use of a C-130 Hercules-type aircraft to facilitate quicker access to the site within 18 months of the beginning of construction,[30] but this was not done.

In June 2013 the 100,000th truckload of fill went into Dry Gut, a gorge which had to be raised by almost 100 metres (330 ft) in order to create an embankment that would finally carry parts of the runway. This was equivalent to nearly 19% of the total of 8 million cubic metres required. Basil Read’s calculations showed that a further 430,000 truckloads of material would be needed to complete the fill. By the summer of 2015, the Dry Gut fill project was completed and the new runway built.[37]

Airport certification and opening[edit]

Avia Solutions Group was appointed to support the St Helena Government (SHG) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in reaching a contract with an air service provider to provide services to the island.[38]

Calibration flights at the airport began in mid-September 2015. A Beechcraft King Air 200, leased from TAB Charters in South Africa, landed on 15 September 2015 in order to perform tests of the airport navigation systems.[39][40] UK-based Flight Calibration Services undertook the flights and flew from Lanseria International Airport, in Johannesburg, flying via Namibia and Angola. The aircraft was on site for approximately one week to undertake the calibration flights.[41]

Opening was originally scheduled for February 2016 but that was postponed a number of times because of air traffic control related issues.[42] In November 2015, a delay of the opening from February to May 2016 was announced.[42] This was needed "in order to fine tune the operational readiness of the airport".

Due to uncertainties concerning weather conditions and, in particular the amount of turbulence on the approaches from fallwinds resulting from the elevated location and the surrounding bluffs, it was recommended that a charter aircraft should perform approaches to and departures from the intended runway.[43] By April 2016 such flights had taken place, and they were not positive, causing a delay in traffic start.[citation needed]

The Boeing 737-800 implementation flight landing at the airport.

The first—and as of July 2017 only—large (above 100 seats) passenger jet landed on 18 April 2016, a Boeing 737-800 operated by Comair. It was an implementation flight to test the route, ground operations and handling, ahead of commencement of scheduled services.[44] The landing was not straightforward, with the aircraft only successfully landing on its third attempt (the first attempt was a planned attempt only because of the lack of experience with this airport).[45] On 26 April 2016, a further delay to the opening, without a specified end date, was announced by the St. Helena Government because of concerns regarding wind shear, after the problematic landing by the Comair 737-800 intended for regular flights.[11] Only southbound landings (runway 20) have wind shear problems, not northbound.[46] There is a need to define measurement methods for the wind shear in order to understand when landing can be done, and when to cancel flights. The late postponement caused extra cost, for example contracted employees and contracted airlines that cannot operate, hotels that were built, and also the need to extend the use of the RMS St Helena, which originally was due to be retired after the airport opened.[47][48][49]

Following an inspection in April 2016, on 10 May, UK-based Air Safety Support International (ASSI), a subsidiary company of the Civil Aviation Authority responsible for aviation safety in Overseas Territories, issued an Aerodrome Certificate to St Helena Airport. This safety certificate indicated that airport infrastructure, aviation security measures and air traffic control service complied with international aviation safety and security standards.[50] ASSI did not allow the airport to go into commercial operation, however, due to concerns over operational readiness of monitoring and clearing issues that include wind shear and turbulence.[51]

The airport opened in June 2016, but large aircraft do not operate due to dangerous wind shear. The airport's advocates hope that it will bring growth to the island economy through tourism which, in the long term, is expected to lead to financial self-sustainability and an end to UK budgetary aid.[24]

A new safety certificate was delivered on 26 October 2016 by Air Safety Support International.[52]

Air traffic history[edit]

Since the airport opened, through to early April 2017, 32 private aircraft have landed at the airport. These flights were mostly for either business passengers or medical evacuation purposes. The aircraft involved were smaller and lighter than the Boeing 737 and usually landed in the opposite direction on the runway from that taken by the 737-800 implementation flight in the southbound direction. The opposite, northbound, direction has an approach which is generally less turbulent but can only be used by lighter aircraft.[53]

The first helicopter to use the airport was an AgustaWestland Wildcat HMA.2 of 201 Flight 825 Naval Air Squadron attached to the Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster on 14 October 2015. [54][55][56][57][58]

An important reason to build the airport was availability for medical emergency evacuation. On 3 June 2016 the first ambulance flight took place, for a baby and his mother.[59]

There are no aircraft dedicated to calibration flights, but occasionally such flights have taken place. On Friday 21 October 2016, an Avro RJ100 jet airliner sponsored by Atlantic Star Airlines landed on St Helena Airport, with 13 non-commercial passengers on board, as part of a delivery to Chile. Both pilots were from the Faroe Islands and had experience from there with landing in windy conditions.[60] An Embraer ERJ-190-100 operated by Embraer Aviation flew from Brazil and made a number of landings and starts on St Helena on 30 November and 1 December 2016.[61][62]

On 18 December 2016 a Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules landed at St Helena, the first fixed-wing military aircraft to land on the island.[63] A South African Air Force C-130 visited the airport twice in July 2017.[64]

Establishing commercial air service[edit]

Prior to the opening of the airport, it was decided that St Helena would have an open skies policy; this allows any airline operator who meets all the required standards to fly in and out of St Helena.[65] Projections for commercial flight costs were also drawn up and the St Helena Government expected that a return economy flight from St Helena to South Africa would cost around £600. Assuming that an off-peak economy seat from South Africa to the UK would be available for approximately £700, return tickets for flights via South Africa to the UK would take the total price to around £1,300.[66]

Due to the runway length and the distance to South Africa (3,700 km to Johannesburg), a Boeing 737-700 flying to Johannesburg serving St Helena would not be able to use its full seat and cargo capacity. Only flights to and from Namibian and Angolan destinations would allow using a Boeing 737-700 near its full load capacity. This was under the condition that both directions of the runway were available so tailwind landings could be avoided. The other planned destination, London, requires a fuel stop in Gambia, at almost the same distance as Johannesburg. However, if Wideawake Airfield on Ascension Island was open for commercial non-military flights, it could be listed as an alternate aerodrome; as it is only 1,300 km from St Helena this would mean that the load capacity of an inbound Boeing 737-700 could be increased as smaller fuel reserves would be required, since the alternate aerodrome could be used in case of problems at St. Helena.[citation needed]

It is believed[by whom?] that reductions in ticket prices could be obtained by using spare payload capacity on flights to and from St Helena to carry air freight (e.g., agricultural products, coffee, fish).[67] At 70% passenger load factor a B737-800 operating, on an average day, into St Helena would have a spare payload capacity of some 4,000 kilograms (8,800 lb). The extra income possible per in-bound flight from cargo could be as high as the income equivalent of 19 passengers, giving an effective load factor of 88% and could reduce ticket prices.[68]

On 16 March 2015 it was announced that SHG and DFID had appointed Comair Limited as the preferred bidder for the provision of air services to St Helena.[69] Comair was proposing a weekly flight between Johannesburg Airport and St Helena using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which has a flight time from Johannesburg to St Helena of about four and a half hours. Reaction to the Comair announcement on St Helena was largely negative,[70] with stories of luggage loss and crime in Johannesburg, and the fact that many of St Helena's residents have personal links with Cape Town.[71]

On 9 October 2015, Governor Mark Capes indicated that once a month there would be a flight from St Helena to Ascension Island provided by Comair.[72] The Ascension Island Government also announced a connection between the two islands. The connection was to be flown by Comair using a Boeing 737-800. The flight would have taken about two hours to Wideawake Airfield. Comair’s air services between St Helena Airport and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg were scheduled to commence in late May 2016, to coincide with the official opening of the airport on 21 May 2016. These dates were postponed because of the problems with wind shear; however, Comair did operate a few test flights which concluded in the windshear risk, mainly for aircraft of that size and larger.[73]

Atlantic Star Airlines (operated by TUI Airlines Netherlands) had announced an intention to operate charter flights from London-Gatwick via Gambia (possibly starting May 2016)[74] using a Boeing 737-800, an aircraft requiring a fairly long runway. This leaves Lubango Airport in Angola, at a distance of 1,300 miles (2,100 km) as the next best diversion option for which every inbound aircraft must carry enough fuel reserve, limiting its load capacity.

In response to the wind shear problems, in June 2016 the Governor, Lisa Phillips, noted that restricting flight operations to runway 02, that is northbound landings and southbound starts on St Helena's single operating surface, might be a suitable interim solution. While runway 02 does not suffer from a significant wind shear problem, restricting landings to one direction would prevent large aircraft from calling at St Helena. Only permitting landings in one direction would mean that aircraft must to be able to land in tailwind. Consequently, large aircraft, like the 737-800, could not be used because, in a tailwind, they would need a longer runway than St Helena provides.[75] If runway 20 is used, it will have severe wind restrictions.

A debate about the project was held by the House of Lords in London on 17 October 2016. When asked by Lord Foulkes when the government expected commercial flights would start at the airport, the Minister of State, Department for International Development Lord Bates said, "scheduled commercial flights will begin when the conditions are considered safe to do so and the St Helena Government are able to contract an airline with the right aircraft and regulatory approval.[76]

In December 2016, the Saint Helena government issued a tender for an airline to establish a scheduled commercial service, using the less turbulent northbound landing direction only. Atlantic Star Airlines has entered a bid on a proposed plan to base two aircraft at Saint Helena. They would carry up to 60 passengers on round-trip flights from Saint Helena to the international airport in Accra, the capital of Ghana.[53] On 5 February 2017 there was a deadline for airlines to submit application bids for the provision of air services to St Helena under the new requirements, and there were a number of bids.[77]

An Airlink Avro RJ85 flew the first charter passengers to and from St. Helena on May 3, 2017

On 3 May 2017, the first commercial charter flight with paying passengers took place. SA Airlink operated the flight from Cape Town, using an Avro RJ85 aircraft with 60 passengers on board. It refueled in Namibe (Angola) when going to St Helena and in Windhoek when going to Cape Town.[78][79] Technical problems with RMS St Helena meant that the island was isolated for at least two months, so the flight was needed.[80]

On 9 June 2017 Airlink won the bid to operate scheduled flights to St Helena Airport.[81] On 22 July 2017 it was announced the airline would operate weekly flights to Johannesburg via Windhoek in Namibia, with a monthly link to Ascension Island. Passengers also have the option to connect to Cape Town bound flights in Windhoek. The flights will be on Embraer E190 aircraft filling a maximum of only 76 of the 99 seats due to runway limitations related to the wind shear issues.[82][83] Airlink conducted a successful proving flight on 23 August 2017[84] and commenced passenger flights on 14 October 2017.[5] The first scheduled flight landed on 14 October 2017 around 14:00 UTC without any problems, although it was slightly delayed. The flight used the southbound direction, the one with wind shear problems, but the wind was fairly calm.[85] Airlink was after some time denied letting passengers embark and disembark in Windhoek, because Airlink was not given right to carry passengers between Namibia and foreign countries. The flights still stop in Windhoek for refuel westbound, but go nonstop to Johannesburg if there is not too much upwind.[86]

On Saturday 18 November 2017 Airlink started a monthly charter operation to Ascension Island.[87]

After half a year of operation it was found that the regularity was better than expected with only one day of flights delayed until another day, and that ticket demand was higher than expected.[88] The government announced in May 2018 that a second weekly flight will be performed during the southern summer season of December 2018 to April 2019, as well as two more flights to Ascension during the Christmas/New year period.[89]

The southern autumn and winter (spring and summer in the northern hemisphere) means higher challenges with low clouds and stormy weather. The flights planned for 14 July 2018 were delayed a full week because of weather.[90]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Airlink Johannesburg–O.R. Tambo[91]
Charter: Ascension Island[92]

Aerodrome characteristics, equipment and facilities[edit]

The airport has been built on Prosperous Bay Plain, on the east side of Saint Helena, entailing a concrete runway length of 1,950 metres (6,398 ft)[93] with taxiway and apron, an approximately 8-million-cubic-metre (280-million-cubic-foot) rockfill embankment through which a 750-metre (2,460 ft) long reinforced concrete culvert was proposed but contractor Basil Read got approval to use an open channel instead. This was approved by the St Helena Government, together with an airport terminal building of 3,500 square metres (38,000 sq ft) and support infrastructure, air traffic control and safety, bulk fuel installation for six million litres (1.3 million imperial gallons; 1.6 million US gallons) of diesel and aviation fuel, a 14-kilometre (9 mi) airport access road from Rupert's Bay to the airport, and all related logistics.[26] The airport has a LDA (landing distance available) of 1,535 metres (5,036 ft) for the northbound runway direction (02) and 1,550 metres (5,085 ft) for the wind shear-affected southbound runway direction (20).[93]

Aircraft compatibility[edit]

The airport by design can accommodate up to two[94] twin-engined passenger aircraft up to the size of the Airbus A319, Boeing 737, and the Boeing 757-200. Following a decision to build a shorter runway of 1,550 metres the planned use of Boeing 737-800 aircraft had been ruled out. Instead the airport was to be designed to receive Boeing 737-700 aircraft.[95] However, on 17 July 2012, the St Helena Government and Basil Read agreed to a change to the runway design, which including widening the embankment over an additional 40 metres (130 ft) at the southern end, paving an additional 100 metres (330 ft) of the runway with concrete, providing larger turning circles at the runway ends, and increasing the size of the apron.[96] As a result of wind shear issues discovered during commissioning of the airport, and the resulting need to land with a tailwind, even further restrictions on the aircraft have been shown to be needed. Airlink decided to use a Brazilian Embraer E190 which is more compatible than larger aircraft with tailwind landings. However it still cannot use the full seat and cargo capacity.[82][83]

In contrast to the 2011 reference design for the airport it would now have a full 240-metre (790 ft) runway end safety area (RESA) at the southern end of the runway instead of the planned engineered materials arresting system (EMAS). The intention was to add an EMAS designed for Boeing 737-800 later butting onto the southern end of the paved runway to increase the declarable landing distance available (LDA) to 1,650 metres (5,410 ft),[97] to allow the operation of larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A320.[96][98]

The additional earthworks and concrete increased duration of construction by 12 weeks so works were expected to be completed by 25 February 2016.[96] Extending the embankment once the airport was operational would have involved prohibitive costs as heavy equipment would have needed to be brought back to the island and huge quantities of rock from another site to be moved, while material excavated from Prosperous Bay Plain was used to fill Dry Gut.[96]

In June 2013 the St Helena government announced it was again assessing changes to the design of the runway to cater for operations of a wider range of aircraft, in particular the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Boeing 757-200, the latter enabling direct flights to Europe, crucial for the island's tourism plans.[99][100] These are Code D aircraft requiring the addition of shoulders along both sides of the runway, a wider taxiway and apron, and a higher fire fighting capacity (ICAO rescue fire fighting service category 7).[101]

In October 2013 a formal agreement was signed for the proposed design changes.[102] These enhancements will also make it possible for the Lockheed C-130 Hercules to operate to and from St Helena, though the runway is unlikely to be able to accommodate larger Code D aircraft, such as the Boeing 767.[102] The upgrade as to be funded from cost savings on other parts of the project,[100] particularly by a simplified runway drainage system.[101]

Facilities[edit]

There are two main buildings,[103] the terminal building, and the combined building for airport operations, e.g. air traffic control, rescue services, etc. In addition there are some smaller buildings. The terminal building has a café, a gift shop, a duty-free shop and a restaurant.[104]

Navigation aids[edit]

Doppler VHF Omni-directional Radio Range system at St Helena Airport.

The distance from key destinations, the length of runway available, and the type of aircraft available in the region dictate that air services to St Helena must operate to the requirements of extended twin engine operations (ETOPS) which implies the provision of an instrument approach system based on an off-set instrument landing system localiser (ILS LLZ).[105][34]

Such is also required by the terrain of the airport which, in commercial passenger air transport terms, is safety-critical due to its steep approaches, high elevation (1,000 ft or 300 m above sea level)[106] and rocky outcrops. Without an instrument approach the provision of a viable air service would be considered impossible.[107]

Because of the above, St Helena Airport was equipped with an instrument landing system (ILS) and a Doppler VHF Omni-directional Radio Range system (DVOR) supplied by Thales Group.[108] Further to that Honeywell Aerospace supplied a SmartPath ground-based augmentation system (GBAS), a technology that augments global positioning system (GPS) signals to make them suitable for precision approach and landing. It overcomes many of the limitations of instrument landing systems (ILS) traditionally used by airports to guide aircraft as they approach the runway.[109]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aerdrome Chart – ICAO: St Helena. St Helena Airport" (PDF). AIP Saint Helena. 28 April 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "St Helena Government – Information Memorandum" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Cancellation Of Notice To Airmen « St Helena". Sainthelena.gov.sh. 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  4. ^ "Saint Helena Island Info: All about St Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean • Fly Yourself Here". Sainthelenaisland.info. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  5. ^ a b "ST HELENA PREPARES FOR INAUGURAL FLIGHT". St Helena. 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-14. 
  6. ^ Pillay, Kavitha (2017-09-22). "#FindYourEscape: Airlink flights to St Helena from SA now on sale". traveller24.com. Retrieved 23 September 2017. 
  7. ^ "Airlink's Emmbraer E190 E-Jets Commence Commercial Services" (Press release). Flyairlink.com. 2017-08-03. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  8. ^ "Sa Airlink To Provide Scheduled Air Services To St Helena And Ascension Island « St Helena". Sainthelena.gov.sh. 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  9. ^ "First flight lands on remote St Helena". 14 October 2017 – via www.bbc.com. 
  10. ^ "St. Helena issues second RFP for scheduled services". ch-aviation.com. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  11. ^ a b AIRPORT OPENING CEREMONY POSTPONED (St Helena Government 26 April 2016)
  12. ^ a b bbc.com – St Helena airport delay 'to increase cost to UK government' 9 May 2016
  13. ^ a b "DFID Consultation Document – Annex A – Summary of cost/benefit analysis and financial costs" (PDF). DFID. 16 April 2009. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "St. Helena airport a key Falklands link". news article. United Press International, Inc. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Jamestown, St Helena Wharf Improvements, Project EIA: Phase 2, Final Report" Archived 3 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine. by the Government of St Helena, 8 August 2011
  16. ^ St Helena Airport Environmental Statement – Volume 2 by Faber Maunsell AECOM, p. 17-3
  17. ^ "Interview with Craig Penwarden, Renewable Energy Engineer at Saint Helena Government"
  18. ^ a b David Lawson: "Island in the Sun". Property Week, 30 September 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  19. ^ Robin Stummer and Daniel Howden: "The Battle for St Helena" Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Ezilon Infobase, 20 October 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  20. ^ "St. Helena scrub and woodlands". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.  Retrieved 28 August 2007.
  21. ^ "Departure Delayed". Private Eye, No. 1167, 15–28 September 2006.
  22. ^ Kettle, Martin (26 September 2008). "Salvaged with a kiss? Maybe, but Brown's woes run deep". The Guardian. 
  23. ^ Owen Bowcott: "[1]". The Guardian, 10 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-DEC-10.
  24. ^ a b c "Airport Approved" (PDF). The St Helena Herald. XI (28). 4 November 2011. p. 4. 
  25. ^ "Britain to pay for St Helena airstrip backed by Lord Ashcroft". The Telegraph. 22 July 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "Basil Read awarded contract to construct airport on St Helena Island" Archived 17 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Basil Read company website, 4 November 2011, retrieved 2011-DEC-24
  27. ^ "Basil Read Team – Progression with Airport Developments" Archived 5 August 2012 at Archive.is St Helena Government Public Relations / Information Office, Press Release, 24 November 2011
  28. ^ a b "Basil Read's second team Visits and first St Helenian employed", St Helena Herald, Volume XI no. 35, 23 December 2011, p. 5[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Airport News" Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine. St Helena Independent, Volume VI, Issue 49, 21 October 2011, p. 2
  30. ^ a b c "Basil Read wins R2.7bn contract to build St Helena's first airport " Engineering News, 3 November 2011
  31. ^ a b "Second Basil Read Team Arrives"[permanent dead link] The St Helena Herald, Volume XI Number 33, 9 December 2011, p.4
  32. ^ "Robson Ships to the South Atlantic". HUB. 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  33. ^ "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" St Helena Government, Department for International Development, January 2005, p. 17
  34. ^ a b "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" St Helena Government, Department for International Development, January 2005, p. 104
  35. ^ MarineTraffic.com. "N P GLORY 4". database. MarineTraffic.com. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  36. ^ Sharon Henry. "NP GLORY 4 MAKES HISTORY, DOCKING AT ST HELENA". news article. St The St Helena Broadcasting (Guarantee) Corporation Ltd. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  37. ^ "St Helena Airport update no 48" (PDF). 
  38. ^ "homepage". Fly to St Helena. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "A Landing to be Remembered" (PDF). Saint Helena Independent. 18 September 2015. p. 6. 
  40. ^ "Remote St Helena island welcomes first flight". 
  41. ^ "First landing ever in St Helena airport scheduled for next week as part of calibration flights". 
  42. ^ a b "AIRPORT BOARD GRANTS ADDITIONAL TIME TO ACHIEVE OPERATIONAL READINESS : Saint Helena Airport Project". www.sainthelenaaccess.com. 
  43. ^ "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" St Helena Government, Department for International Development, January 2005, p. 117
  44. ^ "Pictures : Comair 737 arrives at new St Helena airport". flightglobal. 20 April 2016. 
  45. ^ "British Airways flight struggles to land on St Helena runway – video | Business". The Guardian. 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  46. ^ "MAINTAINING ACCESS TO ST HELENA & ASCENSION : Saint Helena Airport Project". www.sainthelenaaccess.com. 
  47. ^ "The Air Access Project". Atlantic Star Airlines. 
  48. ^ "On St Helena Day, 21 May 2016, begins air link of the island with South Africa — MercoPress". En.mercopress.com. 2015-05-23. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  49. ^ "RMS Sailing Schedule extended until February 2018 - RMS St Helena". RMS St Helena. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  50. ^ "ST HELENA AIRPORT CERTIFIED : Saint Helena Airport Project". www.sainthelenaaccess.com. 
  51. ^ St Helena Airport step closer to operating as final RMS journey on the horizon, Traveller24, 12 May 2016
  52. ^ "Milestone for St Helena Airport: certification for aviation safety and security standards". MercoPress. 
  53. ^ a b Mahr, Krista (2017-04-25). "How a Windy Airport Could Ruin Plans to Bring Tourists to One of the World's Most Remote Islands". Newsweek.com. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  54. ^ "Wildcat loose". Janes. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  55. ^ "Wildcat maritime attack helicopter takes to the seas". Western Gazette. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  56. ^ "Wildcat becomes first helicopter to land at St Helena Airport". Royal Navy. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  57. ^ "Wildcat makes history on St Helena". navynews.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-15. 
  58. ^ Anonymous, "FIRST EVER ROTARY-WING AIRCRAFT LANDS AT ST HELENA AIRPORT," sainthelena.gov.sh, October 15, 2015.
  59. ^ "FIRST EVER MEDEVAC FLIGHT – CRITICALLY ILL SAINT TRANSFERRED TO CAPE TOWN : Saint Helena Airport Project". www.sainthelenaaccess.com. 
  60. ^ Is Atlantic Star The Solution To St Helena Airport Wind Shear?' 22 October 2016.
  61. ^ "EMBRAER TRIAL FLIGHT CONFIRMED – LARGE PASSENGER AIRCRAFT TO LAND ON TUESDAY : Saint Helena Airport Project". www.sainthelenaaccess.com. 
  62. ^ Bob St Helena (3 December 2016). "Long landing of Embraer E190 at St Helena Airport on 1st Dec 2016" – via YouTube. 
  63. ^ "C130 Hercules At St Helena Airport: First Military Flight Landing". Whatthesaintsdidnext.com. 2016-12-18. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  64. ^ "SAAF C-130BZ lands at St Helena, now back in SA". DefenceWeb.co.za. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-28. 
  65. ^ Vince Thompson (18 October 2013). "Atlantic Star – The Only Plane in the St Helena Sky". The St Helena Independent. 8 (44). Jamestown. p. 9. 
  66. ^ Air Access Office. "Frequently Asked Questions". St Helena Airport Project. St Helena Government. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  67. ^ WS Atkins plc (October 2004). "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" (PDF). WS Atkins plc. p. 3. 
  68. ^ WS Atkins plc (October 2004). "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" (PDF). WS Atkins plc. p. 4. 
  69. ^ "AIR SERVICES TO ST HELENA". 16 March 2015. 
  70. ^ "The St Helena Independent - Saint FM". 
  71. ^ "Falkland Islands Current News Articles by SARTMA.com". 12 April 2015. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. 
  72. ^ "ASCENSION AIR SERVICE TO AND FROM ST HELENA". St Helena Government. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  73. ^ "ASCENSION AIR SERVICE TO AND FROM ST HELENA : Saint Helena Airport Project". Sainthelenaaccess.com. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  74. ^ "Best value flights to St.Helena - Atlantic Star Airlines". Best value flights to St.Helena - Atlantic Star Airlines. 
  75. ^ "ST HELENA AIRPORT – STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR LISA PHILLIPS : Saint Helena Airport Project". www.sainthelenaaccess.com. 
  76. ^ "Best value flights to St.Helena - Atlantic Star Airlines". Best value flights to St.Helena - Atlantic Star Airlines. 
  77. ^ "AIR SERVICES TO ST HELENA". 6 February 2017. 
  78. ^ "HISTORIC ARRIVAL OF CHARTER FLIGHT". 3 May 2017. 
  79. ^ "St. Helena sees maiden commercial pax flight". 
  80. ^ Oliver Smith (2017-05-08). "First flight finally lands at world's most 'useless' airport". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  81. ^ "SA Airlink wins bid for commercial air services to St Helena". 9 June 2017. 
  82. ^ a b http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Air-Services-to-St-Helena-QandAs-21-July-2017.pdf
  83. ^ a b "The world's 'most useless airport' is finally getting its first scheduled flight". The Independent. 2017-07-25. Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  84. ^ "AIRLINK COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL PROVING FLIGHT TO ST HELENA". St Helena. 2017-08-22. Retrieved 2017-10-14. 
  85. ^ "Tina Wagner". www.facebook.com. 
  86. ^ Traffic rights scuttle Airlink's Cape Town-St Helena plans
  87. ^ "Airlink". Ascension Island Government. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2018-01-28. 
  88. ^ [2]
  89. ^ ADDITIONAL FLIGHTS TO ST HELENA AND ASCENSION
  90. ^ AIRLINK FLIGHT POSTPONED (sainthelena.gov.sh) or AIRLINK FLIGHT POSTPONED (webcache.googleusercontent.com)
  91. ^ https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/278625/sa-airlink-plans-st-helena-service-increase-in-nw18/
  92. ^ "Airlink-Ascension Island Government". Ascension Island Government. 5 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 
  93. ^ a b "FHSH 2-15" (PDF). 
  94. ^ "Application Drawings, CI-01-1001 – General Runway Layout" Airport Development Application, 2004
  95. ^ Olsson, Mikael (20 January 2012). "Editorial" (PDF). The St Helena Independent. VII (10). Jamestown. p. 2. 
  96. ^ a b c d "FIRST PROJECT VARIATION ORDER SIGNED – Additional Runway Works to Allow for Future Expansion" (PDF). press release. St Helena Government Access Office. 23 July 2012. 
  97. ^ St Helena Government (12 July 2012). "St Helena Airport Update" (PDF). press release. St Helena Government. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  98. ^ St Helena Government (23 July 2012). "Additional runway works to allow for future expansion". press release. St Helena Government. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  99. ^ Pipe, Simon (8 November 2012). "Doubt over eco-resort as Shelco seeks direct flights to Europe". St Helena Online. Jamestown. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. 
  100. ^ a b Pipe, Simon (14 June 2013). "No flights from London? Woah, I'm going to Barbados…". St Helena Online. Jamestown. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. 
  101. ^ a b "Design Changes" (PDF). St Helena Airport Update (31). Jamestown. 13 June 2013. p. 2. 
  102. ^ a b Olsson, Mikael (6 December 2013). "Editorial" (PDF). The St Helena Independent. IX (1). Jamestown. p. 3. [permanent dead link]
  103. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions : Saint Helena Airport Project". Sainthelenaaccess.com. 2016-05-10. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  104. ^ "First Operational Trial at St Helena Airport" (PDF). 
  105. ^ St Helena Access, Project Memorandum Overseas Territories Department, Department for International Development (DFID), January 2005, p. B-6
  106. ^ "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" St Helena Government, Department for International Development, January 2005, p. 13
  107. ^ "St Helena Access Feasibility Study" St Helena Government, Department for International Development, January 2005, p. 317
  108. ^ "Thales wins navigation contract for St Helena Island's first airport". press release. Thales Group. 7 November 2012. Archived from the original on 22 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  109. ^ "Honeywell to provide aircraft landing assurance at St Helena's first airport". press release. Honeywell International Inc. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 

External links[edit]