St Helena local

Safety concerns delays St Helena Airport opening

The long awaited announcement of the St Helena Airport certification was due to be announced shortly, however this afternoon the St Helena Government released a press statement confirming that there will be a delay in the official opening of the Island’s airport  that was scheduled for 21st May 2016. The reason for this delay was due to concerns about safety on approach to the runway

Comair arrival at St Helena Airport
Comair arrival at St Helena Airport

from the North which was identified after the arrival of the Comair Boeing 737 implementation flight last week. The team on board the flight collected some additional information about the conditions at the Airport.  Some of the information gathered from the flight identified that wind shear and turbulence on the approach to the runway had raised concerns about safety. As a result of the safety concerns some additional work is required to ensure safe operation of all flights arriving at the airport. There was no time line given for this additional work however SHG has confirmed that all parties involved with the airport are working hard to understand the conditions and what can be done to mitigate the risk and find a solution to ensure a safe operation of all regular commercial flights to and from the Island.

Editors note: Wind shear is sometimes referred to as wind shear or wind gradient which relates to a difference in wind speed and/or direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere. Atmospheric wind shear is normally described as either vertical or horizontal wind shear. It is not uncommon for airports around the world to experience wind shear on approach there are many solutions that have been tested and implemented to monitor wind shear at airports to enable safe landings and take-offs.

This video below shows how wind shear affects landing.





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