St Helena Government would like to clarify an inaccuracy recently reported on the South African news website – Moneyweb.

The article – Comair share price up on improved results (https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/companies-and-deals/comair-share-price-up-on-improved-results/) published on 15 February 2017 – reports:

Comair was still prepared to proceed with the scheduled weekly service to St Helena Island, if the country’s government could obtain permission from the British Aviation Authority for it to make use of the unused part at the end of the runways on the newly built St Helena Airport

  • Comair suspended plans for such a service that was due to start in May last year, due to safety concerns related to wind turbulence experienced during a test flight
  • Comair was ready to start with the service and incurred expenses to achieve that…it was a ‘massive project’, which Comair was prepared to continue if the safety requirements were met
  • St Helena Government has applied to the British Aviation Authority for the necessary certificate for the use of the end of the runways, but has not received any response yet as the project seems to be caught up in British politics

The above statements are not an accurate reflection of the current state of agreement between St Helena Government and Comair.

The article implies that St Helena Airport is unsafe when in fact the Airport is open and operational as a Category C Airport.

St Helena Government is currently evaluating bids from potential air service providers to provide commercial scheduled air services to St Helena.  The current procurement exercise is expected to conclude in May 2017.

While severe windshear has been experienced on Runway 20 (the northern approach to the runway), work is continuing to understand and mitigate this. Successful trial operations have been carried out using an Avro RJ100 aircraft, an Embraer ERJ 190-100 aircraft and a C130J Hercules.  Small flights continue and are regularly taking place, primarily but not exclusively on Runway 02 (the southern approach).

Following discussions with the regulator, Air Safety Support International (ASSI), it is not considered appropriate to reduce the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) as suggested by Comair.

Comair and SHG have suspended plans for operations to St Helena at this time, pending the work being undertaken to understand and mitigate windshear conditions on Runway 20 (the northern approach).

SHG

23 February 2017

 

 

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