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Fly here?

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Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
Lord Kelvin, 1902

‘How do I fly to St Helena?’

This page is in indexes: Island Activity, Island Detail

Fly here? • Coming soon… [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

Airport Status

Fly here image [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

As at w/c 17th April 2017, the status of our Airport is as follows:

Medevac flights: 

OPEN (many flights have already arrived and departed.)

Private flights

OPEN (many flights have already arrived and departed.)

Commercial flights

A tender process is underway to select an air service supplier. Flights will begin when the supplier is selected - expected Mid-2017.

Ways to get here [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

Other ‘getting here’ pages:

• Getting Here

• RMS St Helena

• Yachting

• Cruise Ship Days

• Fly Yourself Here

• Visitor Information

The answer to question above is that at present, unless you own your own plane, you can’t…but soon it will be possible for everyone! Read more…

This page is about our operational airport. You can also read about its construction.

Go to: Fly here in your private plane?Medical EvacuationCommercial Flights‘Category C’Other Flying ThingsSt Helena Airport GamePoem

Fly here in your private plane?

Although the airport is not yet operating a scheduled commercial service, if you have your own private plane flying to St Helena is already possible. See our Fly Yourself Here page for more.

Medical Evacuation

The airport is already being used for Medical Evacuations. As at December 2016 it had saved two lives; people who would not have survived the seven day sea voyage to Cape Town.

Commercial Flights

Much of the information provided below was correct up until early May 2016, when the planned opening of our airport (on 21st May) was called off due to technical problems. Although the information below (greyed out) is now out of date, there is not yet anything new with which to replace it. We will update this page as soon as we have something definite to report.

A new Tender process is underway which should result in air services starting in mid-2017.





SA flag [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

Johannesburg, SA



UK flag [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

London, UK

Atlantic Star


UK flag [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

Ascension Island



Johannesburg, SA

On 27th March 2015 it was announced that Comair will be offering weekly flights to St Helena, every Saturday, on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft in British Airways livery. The flights will offer both business class and economy seating on the five-hour flight. The aircraft will be capable of carrying up to 120 passengers and a limited amount of cargo. Increased frequency “will be considered if there is sufficient demand”.

According to the announcement there will be an ‘early morning’ departure from Johannesburg to St Helena, a one hour turnaround time in St Helena and an arrival into Johannesburg in the ‘early evening’. This means that passengers from connecting flights (e.g. to and from the UK) will almost certainly have to spend a night in Johannesburg on both the outbound and return trips.

One flight a week will depart from Johannesburg every Saturday morning at 08.20am (GMT+2) and will arrive at St Helena Airport at approximately 11.30am (GMT). The return flight will depart from St Helena at 12.30pm (GMT) and will arrive at OR Tambo International Airport at approximately 6.30pm (GMT+2).{a}

Bookings will open for sale towards the end of this year, 2015. A ticket can be purchased by a variety of means, including ba.com, Comair’s call centre and international and online travel agencies. Arrangements will also be put in place for purchase on St Helena. Further details on purchase options will be available later this year.” Prices have not been announced.

This service is to be subsidised by the UK Government.

London, UK

Atlantic Star, one of the unsuccessful bidders for the ‘official’ flights contract, will provide an air service to St Helena featuring direct flights to and from the UK (via a refuelling stop in West Africa), on a charter basis.

In March 2016 Atlantic Star published its first flight schedule, from and to Luton Airport, at a price of £1,299 return (Economy). However the cancellation of the airport opening rendered this schedule invalid.

More at www.atlanticstarairlines.com.

Ascension Island

On 9th October 2015, following a long campaign by Saints in the Falklands and on Ascension Island, Government of St Helena announced that Comair would also operate flights to and from Ascension Island, initially on a four-weekly basis but subject to review.

This service is to be subsidised by the UK Government.

Airport entrance, 2017 {1} [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]
Airport entrance, 2017{1}{b}

‘Category C’

Our airport has been designated ‘Category C’. This is basically an assessment of the risk involved in using the airfield, with ‘A’ being the least risky.

Category C [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

A Category ‘A’ airfield satisfies all of the following requirements:

  • An approved instrument approach procedure

  • At least one runway with no performance limited procedure for take-off and/or landing

  • Published circling minima not higher than 1,000ft

  • Night operations capability

A Category ‘B’ airfield is an airfield which does not satisfy all of the Category ‘A’ airfield requirements, or which requires extra considerations such as:

  • Non Standard Approach aids and/or approach patterns, or

  • Unusual local weather conditions, or

  • Unusual characteristics or performance limitations, or

  • Any other relevant considerations including obstructions, physical layout, lighting etc.

A Category ‘C’ airfield requires additional considerations to a Category ‘B’ airfield and is considered to pose certain problems for the approach and/or landing and/or take-off.

For reference, three of the Category ‘C’ airfields in Europe are London City [EGLC], Gibraltar [LXGB] and Funchal, Madeira [LPMA].

Other Flying Things

Air Traffic Control Zones [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

Naturally, the new airport requires restrictions on what else can be flying over St Helena. The Aviation Ordinance was enacted early in 2015 and designates an Aerodrome Traffic Zone ‘ATZ’ (broadly, the approach and departure area) and a Control Zone ‘CTR’ (the immediate vicinity of the airport. The diagram (right) illustrates these.

The rules depend on what it is you intend to fly. In addition to normal aircraft (which, presumably, you will to fly into or out of the airport, so formal Air Traffic Control procedures must be observed), the restrictions also cover:

  • Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA), also known as quadcopters, UAVs, radio controlled aircraft or drones;

  • Kites;

  • Large Baloons (e.g. hot-air balloons and tethered ‘barrage’ balloons);

  • and even small ‘party’ baloons when realeased in bulk (1000 or more).

Whether wind-blown litter is covered is not clear.

The rules also prohibit shining bright lights into the sky, which “have the ability to dazzle and disorientate pilots at a time when they are most busy”.

You can download a summary of the regulations (155.0Kb).

St Helena Airport Game

St Helena Airport Game from the Google™ Play store [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

In August 2016 a computer game became available on the Google™ Play store, which allows you to land a (small) plane on St Helena Airport.

We are told that the game features a reasonably realistic portrayal of St Helena…and even incorporates wind shear!


From the ground
one sees only the butt ends of the clouds
those bits of the blanket
tucked under.

one sees across the counterpane
rumpled, morning white
as if the earth had spent another restless night.

Roger McGough

closinghumourimage [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]

Laugh at funny flyhere humour - LOL [Saint Helena Island Info:Fly here?]


{a} Government of St Helena, 6th October 2015{2}

{b} Andy Simpson, www.penspen.com


{1} The guns are Royal Navy 32 pounders, manufactured in the 1780s, and were recovered from Banks Battery and restored. More island cannons here.

{2} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged


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