Yesterday, on publication of a UK PAC Report on St Helena Airport, DFID responded to media requests for comment by saying:

“One of the first things the Secretary of State did this summer was to take concrete actions to get the Airport up and running and to ensure the lessons from this project are learnt. We are already seeing the results.

“An external expert was brought in to review evidence of DFID’s actions while an independent panel has been tasked with finding a solution to challenges presented by wind shear.

“Following this work, St Helena Government has now released a tender for air services for a three year period to provide the best possible air service for the Island.

“18 flights have successfully landed so far – including three vital medevac flights. More flights are due next week. To uphold our duty to the island an extension of the Royal Mail Ship service will provide guaranteed access in the meantime.

“The Secretary of State is clear: we will deliver on what we promised for the Island and we will identify failures to ensure they are held to account, redressed and not repeated.”

In addition, St Helena Government observes the following:

St Helena Government also notes that the NAO report of 9 June 2016 – on which the UK PAC based its inquiry – contained a number of positive comments. SHG and DFID welcomed the NAO report and its focus on the objectives for investment in St Helena Airport, including increasing tourism, and economic and population growth – all designed to move St Helena towards financial self-sufficiency.

The NAO report also pointed out that estimating the likely costs and benefits of a project such as this is an inherently difficult task, particularly with a limited number of precedents for building an airport in such a remote location.

Meanwhile, work continues to mitigate the challenges of wind shear at St Helena Airport. We have always said that getting this right will take some time, and we are making steady progress.


15 December 2016




Posted on 16 December 2016
Filed Under Uncategorised | 2 Comments



  1. Eileen Franchi on December 20th, 2016 11:01 am

    I have read recently about the money spent on the airport at St. Helena and how aircraft cannot take off or land safely owing to the force of the wind in the Valley. I remembered that I have a copy of the Ships Log of the Lady Carrington commanded by Henry Becher b.1784, my 3xGt Grand Uncle, brother to my 3xGt Grandfather Thomas. Henry was at Anchor in the bay of St. Helena the day Bonaparte arrived in Captivity on Sunday October 15th 1815, aboard the Northumberland with Admiral Cockburn and it is recorded on most days whilst there that the Breezes from the Valley were moderate,Light, Light Winds with rain, Fresh breezes, and Blowing fresh and squalls from the Valley on 21st.
    So it seems to me that they only had to look at ships logs from the past to discover that the Breezes and the Wind from the Valley were enough to be recorded by the sailors of the day to see that there might be a problem before building!!

  2. giuseppe pasquinelli on December 20th, 2016 11:59 am

    Eileen, fantastic comment!!!

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