St Helena witnesses another successful jet arrival
An Avro RJ100 jet aircraft operated by Tronos Jet Maintenance and carrying two Atlantic Star Airlines personnel, successfully conducted a technical stop at St Helena Airport last Friday as part of a delivery flight to a customer in Chile.
Arriving close to its schedule at 15.51hrs GMT, the aircraft performed a smooth landing from the south on Runway 02 and, after disembarking a few passengers, took off, completed a circuit, and performed an equally smooth landing from the north on Runway 20. The aircraft departed St Helena on Saturday afternoon at 14.29hrs GMT.
Positive cooperation between various teams enabled Tronos to gain the necessary approvals for this particular delivery flight. On board were 13 passengers, including Richard Brown and Aiden Walsh of Atlantic Star Airlines - one of a number of potential partners with an interest in operating regular flights to St Helena.
The Tronos flight will provide the Airport with additional real time data and a pilot’s report - all part of building a more comprehensive picture of the conditions under which we will be asking a scheduled air service to operate.
After departing St Helena, the Tronos flight was scheduled to call at Ascension Island, Brazil and Uruguay, finally arriving at Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport, Chile - the final destination.
The arrival and departure of the aircraft attracted much public interest on St Helena, with landside facilities at the Airport made available for public viewing.
Intensive work continues to mitigate the challenges of wind shear at the Airport. Getting this right and putting in place a scheduled passenger service involves complex work and will take some time. Whilst the focus of everyone’s work is to resolve these issues at the earliest possible opportunity, safety remains paramount.
Five years ago, St Helena Government signed a design, build and operate (DBO) contract with Basil Read (Pty) Ltd. The contract included £201.5 million for the design and construction of the airport, an additional amount - of up to - £10 million on shared risk contingency and £35.1 million for ten years of operation.
The project aims to provide air services to St Helena, fulfilling the UK Government’s commitment to maintaining access to the Island, and provide it with a real opportunity for economic growth through tourism.
Both the St Helena Government and the UK Government hope that this will lead to eventual financial self-sustainability for St Helena.