28 AUGUST 2017
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An Airlink Embraer E190-100 departed St Helena Airport on Tuesday afternoon after carrying out a successful proving flight to the island from its base in Johannesburg and completing a series of flight trials.
The visit, part of the preparations for introducing an air service on a new route, involved a two-day programme covering training and audits at the airport as well as various discussions with key stakeholders on the island.
Airlink said it was able to assess air traffic control, communications and navigation systems, emergency services, rescue and fire-fighting services, ground handling, passenger assistance, terminal building facilities and security.
The Airlink aircraft, with 34 passengers headed by CEO Rodger Foster, landed on Runway 20 at the airport after a 6hr journey from Johannesburg which incorporated a fuelling stop in Windhoek, Namibia.
Guests were welcomed later at a reception at Plantation House by St Helena governor Lisa Phillips. She said: “I hope we will have proven to the South African Civil Aviation Authority that the airport operation is technically very capable and also what a special place St Helena is.”
Details of fares and a start date for regular flights to the island are expected to be announced soon.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
David Starkie, United Kingdom
The British taxpayer also needs answers as to why the terminal was built on the scale it was even if having the runway can be justified
Patrick Taylor, Kenley
"landed on Runway 20 at the airport after a 6hr journey from Johannesburg" Runway 20!!! Are you having a gentle kid?
David Learmount, East Molesey
I am happy for the Saints. It would be nice if they could keep their mail ship as well; but of course they won't be allowed to. And no-one should underestimate the operational planning that will have to go into every departure to and from such a remote island, so it'll never become a high-yield or high-volume route, but what an adventure! Who knows where this will lead?