As part of an International study to be able to deliver more accurate weather forecasts across the South Atlantic, a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ‘flying laboratory’ is planning to operate over St Helena this coming weekend, to undertake a series of weather-related measurements.
The precise times of when the aircraft will be circling the Island are not yet known, however SHG understands that the aircraft will undertake three circuits over the Island at different altitudes, before heading off to the South West coast of Africa.
23 August 2016
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
A Beechcraft King Air aircraft operated by TAB Charters is expected to arrive at St Helena Airport this afternoon at approximately 13.30hrs. On board will be the team from Flight Calibration Services Limited (FCSL) for the purpose of undertaking routine Calibration Flights in connection with the navigation aids at the Airport.
FCSL and Tab Charters carried out the earlier calibration flights at St Helena Airport, so are familiar names to the Island. Their most recent visit was in December 2015.
A regular schedule is now in place at the Airport for calibration flights to be carried out every six months in order to meet the normal ongoing requirements for Airport Certification.
The flight is expected to depart later this week upon completion of all calibration tasks.
20 July 2016
As we reported on the day, a second emergency aero-medical evacuation from St Helena Airport took place on Tuesday this week, 12 July 2016 – collecting a critically ill adult in urgent need of emergency medical care.
A specially-fitted Hawker 800 aircraft was used for the medevac flight, which originated in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a technical stop en-route in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The flight arrived at St Helena Airport at 15.37hrs on Runway 20 (the northern approach) and experienced a smooth landing.
The Doctor and paramedic on board then assisted the medical team from the Health Directorate in transferring the patient to the aircraft.
The flight departed at 17.19hrs, bound for Cape Town.
Thanks are extended to all those involved in planning and handling this flight – from the Health Directorate, the Basil Read Airport Operations Team and SHG officials – and of course to the medevac team onboard.
14 July 2016
As part of our commitment to maintaining access to St Helena and Ascension, SHG can today confirm that the RMS passenger and freight service will be extended up until 1 July 2017. A revised schedule can be viewed at: http://rms-st-helena.com/schedules-fares/ and bookings will be accepted from 09.00hrs tomorrow morning.
Intensive work continues to mitigate wind conditions experienced at St Helena Airport and to deliver a regular scheduled passenger air service as soon as possible. Safety is our paramount concern and we will ensure that we are confident of every aspect of Airport operations before commercial flights commence. Getting this right will take some time.
St Helena Airport is however open for one-off charter flights and medical evacuation aircraft, as evidenced by this afternoon’s medevac flight to South Africa, the arrival of a charter flight tomorrow and a further flight next week.
Governor Lisa Phillips said:
“Given that St Helenians will wish to plan for travel at Christmas, the New Year and beyond, we have taken the decision to extend the RMS service up until 1 July 2017. We want to give certainty to Island residents as we continue with our work to deliver regular air services at St Helena Airport.”
Should an air service commence in the interim, we will review the situation.
The public will continue to be informed as work progresses.
12 July 2016
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