St. Helena Island to Become Less Remote

Jamestown

Jamestown, capital and main town on St. Helena Island

It's timely that Sharon, a St. Helenian (or, as they call themselves, "Saints,") commented in the St. Helena Gallery at EarthPhotos.com over the weekend. It prompted me to check the St. Helena news, and – this is something you can't say every day – there is some. Big news, in fact.

It might be the most-debted subject among the 4000-odd Saints. For sure it's a perrenial. And now comes word that, at last, apparently, St. Helena is to get its own airport

If you've been with us for a while, you know that St. Helena is accessible only by ship, specifically the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena. Now, in 2015, an air field is set to open, providing service to South Africa, and bringing the total number of visitors from the current 950 to around a projected 30,000.

StHelena

The landscape at Prosperous Bay, site of the airport.

From the site Airport World:

"The design phase of the $344 million project is scheduled to commence immediately, and construction is expected to take place over a 48-month period….

According to Basil Read, the scope of work includes building a 1,850m runway with a taxiway and apron to cater for aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.

A 3,500sqm terminal building will be built, as well as an air traffic control tower and a 14 km airport access road and all related infrastructure."

We visited the remote British colony in the south Atlantic Ocean last year, sailing from Windhoek, Namibia (photos) to St. Helena (photos) and on to Ascension Island (photos), from which the RAF runs charter flights to the Falklands, and, in our case, Brise Norton Air Force Base near Oxford, England. Here's what we wrote at the time.

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