St Helena Online

Tag: aircraft

Touchdown on St Helena… hang on, who’s flying this plane?

You Tube screen grabLadies and gentlemen, we are beginning our descent… into the sublime.

A simulation of an aircraft landing at St Helena International airport has been posted on the YouTube video website.

Watching it might be slightly unnerving, though, for anyone familiar with the personalities at construction firm Basil Read, which commissioned the video.

And it may confirm the oft-voiced suspicion that there is nothing Basil Read will not turn its hands to.

Once the plane has plopped softly on to the runway and turned on the apron by Great Stone Top, a Saint voice comes over the address system to welcome passengers to St Helena.

“On behalf of Basil Read Air,” says our hostess, “our captain, Jimmy Johnston, and co-pilots Graham Temlett and Deon de Jager, we trust you had a pleasant flight.”

Jimmy Johnston is project manager for the St Helena airport, Graham is general manager, and Deon is island director.

Denain Venter of Basil Read is happy to admit the company has its cheeky side: “A sense of humour is what keeps us going.

“The simulation was done in the UK. We re-worked a bit on the wording to make it more ‘personalised’.”

There’s one puzzling detail. If the simulation shows the first plane ever to land at St Helena, how come there’s another one on the tarmac when it gets there?

It must have arrived on the ship.

  • Basil Read Air? We look forward to seeing those initials on the side of an aircraft…

View from the cockpit as plane lands at St Helena (includes link to video)
All secure: airport ship is first to dock at St Helena

AUDIO: DfID Secretary on island’s “brilliant opportunity”

Andrew Mitchell with Swindon MP Robert Buckland and St Helena UK representative Kedell Worboys
Andrew Mitchell (right) with Swindon South MP Robert Buckland and St Helena UK representative Kedell Worboys

St Helenians and island watchers discussed the future of St Helena with the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, in a rare public meeting on 19 May 2012. Afterwards, St Helena Online was granted an interview with Mr Mitchell on behalf of island media. Click on the links to hear what he had to say:

On finance and shipping: “This is an absolutely brilliant opportunity in the history of St Helena. I’m determined this major contract in very, very difficult circumstances will be delivered on time and at cost.” And a future wharf in Rupert’s Bay? Part 1: listen here.

On aircraft: “We have maintained our flexibility for the future and ensured the aircraft most likely to fly to St Helena will be able to use the airport.” Part 2: listen here.

On open government: “It’s up to the elected governments of the territories to determine whether freedom of information legislation is the best means of strengthening transparency and accountability to their own citizens. Explaining to people why you’re doing what you’re doing makes for better government.” Part 3: listen here.

On tourism: “We have satisfied ourselves with the world’s best experts about the likely tourist uptake. I think their projections are quite conservative.” Part 4: listen here.

Andrew Mitchell speech at Swindolena, UK
Andrew Mitchell: your comments
Basil Read’s Jimmy Johnston at Swindolena
Andrew Mitchell: questions from the floor
Jamestown jetty plan looks dead in the water

Department for International Development
Andrew Mitchell MP