Today, Tuesday 3 November 2015, marks exactly four years since the signing of the Design, Build and Operate contract between St Helena Government and Basil Read to build an Airport on St Helena.
Over these four years, immense progress has been made – evidenced by the number of milestones reached in the past year alone. The appointment of Comair Ltd as Air Service Provider for St Helena, the completion of the concrete paving of the Runway, Apron & Taxiway, the official ‘switching on’ of the runway lights and the announcement of the Ascension Air Service to and from St Helena are just some of the important landmarks achieved this year. The biggest achievement so far of course was the landing of the first ever aircraft at St Helena Airport, on Tuesday 15 September 2015, to take part in a series of calibration flights.
Four years after the signing of the Airport contract, we are now moving away from construction works and into the operational phase of the project. All parties involved in the Airport Project are now working together towards achieving the next important milestone of gaining Airport certification.
HE Governor Capes remarked:
“Four years ago today, on 3 November 2011, I addressed a gathering in front of the Court House in Jamestown to announce that only a few minutes earlier the Airport project contract had been signed in London. That was a special moment, great excitement matched with no small amount of trepidation about the work that lay ahead.
“Today the government and community of St Helena can be proud of what has been achieved over the past four years. In saying that I speak not just of the impressive pace of construction of the Airport itself, but of the performance of the community as a whole in supporting and adapting to change – as we work to raise standards across the board in healthcare, social services, education, environmental protection, policing and in so many other areas. At times it has not been easy given our remote location and limited resources, but we continue to make strong progress as a community.
“So I say well done St Helena. Let us continue to work together to secure a better and more prosperous future for all who live here, paying particular attention to ensure that we remain a caring society, respectful of the values that define this special community.”
To commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Airport Project, a special exhibition will be open at the Museum of St Helena from 4-18 November 2015 highlighting key progress and developments on the Airport project to date. There will also be a photo and film display in the Tourism Office window at the Canister.
Also look out for a bumper colour edition of the Airport Update in this week’s newspapers.
3 November 2015