2001-2003: Shelco – a third attempt

St Helena Airport Timeline


Shelco developed new airstrip designs: one for landing, and one for taking off.

June: a report commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) compared possible air and sea access options for St Helena. The High-Point Rendel report said that an airport could be built for £45 million, and it should be on Prosperous Bay Plain. Sea access remained an option.


Shelco revealed plans for a leisure complex alongside its ambitions to build an airport and provide an air service – its so-called “three-legged stool” approach. The resort at Broad Bottom, called the Parkland Estate, would include an 18-hole golf course and 70 chalets.

A referendum showed 72% support for the airport, but with a poor response. Critics said voters had not understood the question they were asked.


April: DFID issued an international invitation for expressions of interest in developing air access proposals for St Helena.

Several companies responded to a DFID call for tenders to build an airport, based on the Shelco proposal. Some details of that outline were not released to other bidders, and only Shelco’s bid met the terms of the brief.

However, a South African firm, Basil Read, submitted a bid with new ideas and strong environmental detail. It argued against one company building the airport and running an air service.

2003-2005: false hope
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St Helena airport project website

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