About St Helena Airport
An airport on St Helena was initially proposed in 1999 to
replace the ageing RMS St Helena as the main access provider to
the island. Currently the RMS St Helena is vital to the island
and as well as bringing mail and vital supplies, it can also
carry a small number of tourists, estimated at 1000 per year.
However the journey takes about 14 days from the UK and about 7
from Cape Town in South Africa. This coupled with the ships scheduled
retirement in 2010, an Airport is believed to be the right
A site has been located on the East of the
island near Prosperous Bay Plain. This is the only piece of land
suitable on St Helena for a runway. It is believed that the
runway will be 2250 meters in length - long enough for planes as
large as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800 to land, both of
which are capable of carrying 200 passengers. The suggested site for the airport has caused controversy as the survival of some of St Helena's rarest birds depends upon the land being preserved.
Whilst no one
has been awarded the contract of constructing the Airport yet,
there has been plenty of interest. Shelco (St Helena Leisure
Corporation) proposed an airport and resort complex, consisting
of the airport itself along with a large hotel complex and golf
course. Flights were planned to Africa and Europe as well as the
Falkland Islands, Dubai, Bermuda and Ascension Island. The
Department for International Development (Dfid) refused the
As of February 2007, 4 companies have been pre
qualified to bid on the design, build and operator contract and a
further 3 companies have been pre qualified to For the Air Service Provider contract and will be responsible for flights in and out of St Helena Airport.
Although an initial
date of 2010 was announced for the the completion of the
airport, it is now suggested that it will not be operation until
2011 or 2012 at the earliest.
The RMS St Helena at Portland Port, Dorset UK
Location of Prosperous Bay Plain