Sunday, February 14, 2016

St. Helena's first airport

I watched a Globe Trekker episode on St. Helena. It's a tiny British island in the middle of the South Atlantic. The island's only connection with the outside world is a mail ship that goes there every three weeks. The ship takes five days to travel there from Cape Town.

An airport is finally being built and will be completed this year. Its three-story air traffic control tower is the tallest building on the island. Given the unpredictable weather, planes are expected to circle overhead for up to two hours before the runway is clear. If it's not clear after two hours, the flight has to abort and land in Namibia or Angola.

Here is a BBC documentary about the fears and hopes of the locals regarding the airport. Will the young leave? Will developers ruin the island? Unfortunately, the fisherman featured in the documentary recently committed suicide. And like Pitcairn Island, another remote British territory, allegations of rampant child abuse have arisen.

And here is a more cheery promotional piece about the island. Check out the governor's X-Type!

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