The St Helena Airport Programme Board – comprising SHG, DFID, FCO and Basil Read – yesterday recommended that it would be necessary and prudent to grant a short period of additional time in order to fine tune the operational readiness of St Helena Airport.

The Programme Board does not anticipate a significant revision to the commencement date for commercial flights beyond the original projected date of late February 2016, but has recommended this pragmatic step now so that we can conclude the calibration works and other preparations for safe and secure commercial operations. Executive Council Members are in agreement, and we have conveyed this decision to Comair and Penspen.

Subject to final certification and operational readiness, the Board still expects St Helena Airport to be accepting commercial flights before the planned Official Opening of the Airport in May 2016.

As before, a decision on when to sell tickets for Comair flights will be made only when the Airport has been certified. To that end, we expect the regulator, Air Safety Support International, to visit St Helena in January 2016 to carry out a full inspection audit of the Airport’s compliance with aviation regulations and that will inform a decision on ticket sale timing.

6 November 201

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