Back in June, the access contract for
signed. It was awarded to the South African operator SA Airlink, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/st-helena-airport-access-contract.html.
The airline will be carrying out the first ever commercial flight to St Helena
Airport on Monday the 21st of August 2017 (Oddly enough this will be the day of
the Great American Eclipse; are these people astrologers?). The aircraft will be
SA Airlink's brand new Embraer E190, a medium range twin-engine jet that can
carry between eighty to a hundred and twenty-four passengers. Unfortunately all
the tickets have been reserved for VIP's among the SA Airlink executives and
the St Helena Government on this historic celebratory flight; but if this
proving flight goes well a full regular schedule will begin, and after that you
will be able to purchase a ticket and fly to St
Helena Airport St Helena
on easy terms. The route will eventually be extended to Ascension. The plane
will depart Johannesburg at 7 AM local time, that's 6 AM British Summer Time,
and will stopover at Windhoek in Namibia for half an hour before setting out
over the Atlantic Ocean towards St Helena. It is expected to land on St Helena
at 1.15 PM local time, that's 2.15 PM BST (St Helena does not change its clocks
in spring and uses Greenwich Mean Time all year round). Source: https://whatthesaintsdidnext.com/2017/07/22/flights-st-helena-johannesburg-cape-town-announced/.
The stay of execution for the faithful old RMS St Helena will then sadly be over and she will be retired in
February next year. After that she will probably head for the breakers yard. This
maiden commercial flight to St Helena is the final step
in a process that was begun when construction of the airport commenced in 2012.
I began covering this subject in March 2014, see background links below. The
first ever landing at
took place there in September 2015; a Beechcraft light aircraft was sent there
to help with a medical emergency. Since then there have been thirty-one other
landings, mostly test missions, but there has been a helicopter as well and two
military aircraft on classified missions; see background links below. However
Monday's flight marks the start of normal access; in other words, it is the
moment when St Helena Airport
joins the international list of active passenger aviation transport hubs. This
day, more than any other milestone, marks the moment when the gates of global
society are swung open and the outside world pours in onto that little island.
For better or for worse... or maybe a bit of both. There is no going back now.
The dye is cast. St Helena Airport
See here for background: http://hpanwo-radio.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/programme-212-podcast-st-helena-airport.html.