28 July 2016 | Comments
UPDATE ON ACTIONS
Work continues to mitigate the challenges of wind shear at St Helena Airport. Safety remains paramount.
The Governor continues to chair weekly meetings of her senior technical and planning staff in order to understand the issues, make decisions, ensure the public are properly informed in a timely manner, and push forward all areas of work. These meetings began as soon as the issue of wind shear became apparent, and they continue. Councillors are represented at these meetings.
In terms of the northern and southern approach (Runways 20 and 02 respectively) we now have more than five months of weather data, plus reports of the experience of each of the nine flights that have so far operated various approaches into the Airport. Another aircraft is due to arrive tomorrow.
We are also installing more specialised equipment at the runway to monitor weather conditions and are employing computer and physical modelling to build a stronger picture of the conditions under which we will be asking aircraft to operate. All of this is building up a body of evidence.
Intensive work continues to consider an interim aircraft solution into the southern approach (Runway 02). A key issue here will be the level and frequency of tail wind speeds, given the constraints these can place on aircraft performance. We are gathering more data on both wind patterns and speeds to facilitate these considerations. Longer term solutions for using the northern approach (Runway 20) are receiving the same attention.
Meanwhile, medevac flights and smaller aircraft continue to operate at St Helena Airport, and the RMS extension is providing certainty of access for St Helenians.
26 July 2016