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Now the sea is a no-go zone, as cliffs pose blast hazard

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Cracks: fragile cliffs alongside St Helena’s airport site pose a risk of rockfalls

An exclusion zone has been imposed off the coast of St Helena because of fears about the stability of cliffs near the island’s airport site. 

It was agreed after a survey said rock falls could be caused by explosions planned by construction company Basil Read.

Click on the map to see it full size

The no-go zone extends 500 metres out to sea from Gill Point to Bay Point, in Prosperous Bay.

Inland, parts of the coastline are already closed to the public, including King and Queen Rocks. They will remain off-limits until the opening of the airport, currently scheduled for early 2016.

The exclusion zone was approved by executive councillors at their meeting on 18 September 2012.

Governor Mark Capes said in his report of the meeting: “Recent surveys revealed that the cliffs in that area, near the airport site, show signs of extensive cracks.

“As Basil Read will soon begin extensive blasting operations nearby, there was concern that this could cause significant rock falls that would present a hazard to anyone in the vicinity.

“The 500-metre exclusion zone is purely a precautionary safety measure to mitigate the potential risk from falling rocks.”

  • The airport workers’ camp at Bradley’s, on the edge of Prosperous Bay Plain, has now opened.  

Last walk to landmark before explosions rock airport site
Touchdown on St Helena: flight simulation

St Helena airport project – galleries

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