16 MAY 2016
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The new St Helena airport won certification last week from Air Safety Support International (ASSI) while work continued to solve turbulence and windshear issues experienced by Comair’s implementation flight last month (see BTN 2 May).
Certification confirms that the airport infrastructure, aviation security measures and air traffic control service comply with international aviation safety and security standards.
The St Helena government said it welcomed the move and “every effort” was being made to start operations “at the earliest opportunity”.
“Airport certification is a significant achievement for any airport and even more so for a brand new airport,” a statement said.
However, it added: “Certification and operational readiness are parallel processes, so windshear and turbulence mitigation is a separate issue which does not affect the certification. Work is continuing in parallel on operational readiness.”
The government said ASSI was aware these issues were still to be addressed and would be discussing them with the airport operator and other stakeholders over the coming weeks.
“However,” the statement added, “safety is paramount and we will not commence commercial operations until we are satisfied with every aspect of airport operations.”
Certification is an ongoing process and St Helena’s first certificate is valid until 9 November, at which point the airport will need to be re-certified.
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