The formal audits for certification of St Helena Airport will begin on 31 October 2015. This is a critical stage, when the Airport, associated infrastructure and personnel need to demonstrate compliance with the standards for airport safety and security mandated in the Overseas Territories Aviation Requirements (OTARs).
The audits will be undertaken by Air Safety Support International (ASSI), the regulator for St Helena Airport. The audit process will be split into two phases, with the first phase taking place during the period 31 October to 8 November 2015.
In the first phase, Owen Healey, Principal Inspector of Rescue & Firefighting at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, will visit the Island to audit the Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting Services and to verify all aspects of emergency planning.
At the same time, ASSI personnel in the UK will audit essential procedures through a series of desktop exercises focusing on operational safety and likely to include live testing of the Airport operations team by telephone link.
The results of the first phase of the audits are expected in mid-November and will be used to inform the second phase. This is planned for January 2016. A team from ASSI will travel to St Helena to audit security and air traffic control systems, the latter requiring an operational aircraft to test the systems.
Nigel Spackman, St Helena Aerodrome Manager, said:
“Alongside the final stages of construction, work towards certification is progressing well – with the aim of ensuring a smooth transition into commercial flight operations. We have been working for some months now to prepare manuals, Standard Operating Procedures and other operational processes that will guide all operations at St Helena Airport. Training and trials of various parts of the operation is ongoing as Airport staff continue to develop their skills and we work through any issues highlighted by the trials.
“The audits will be challenging, but this is to be anticipated – there shall be no compromises in relation to Airport safety and security. No airport goes through a certification audit without having to undertake some corrective action and I welcome advice from colleagues in ASSI on how we can improve.”
Further information on the audits will follow in due course.
19 October 2015