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St. Helena Service

Old 21st Feb 2016, 12:12
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Navaida

BettyRubble, if the metal security fence is too close to the VOR and causing the problems there wouldn't it be silly to put it up again ? They might have to find another type of fence or another security solution ...
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 11:55
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Speculations ?

Late February Comaiir took delivery of a brand new Boeing 737-800 (ZS-ZWG) for the St.Helena route as the latest addition to its British Airways fleet The aircraft had to be fitted with electronic navigation aids for the long flight that will take place once a week. For the rest of the week it will be utilised on other Comair routes.
As reported by Moneyweb on 29 February 2016, Comair CEO Erik Venter said ticket sales for St Helena will commence as soon as the airport has been certified by the British Civil Aviation Authority. This, he said, should happen soon and the first flight will hopefully take place in May.
Venter said at first the passenger volumes to and from St Helena are expected to be low and the route will be subsidised by the British government. “We wouldn’t take all the risk on a route like that. We share the risk with the British government,” he said. Comair earlier won a tender by the British government to provide airlift into St Helena. In terms of the agreement the British government may reduce the price of flight tickets, for example to stimulate tourism.

While Comair gears up for the first St.Helena flight, on 01 March 2016 St.Helena's SaintFM radio station 'speculated' in the news that St.Helena Airport may not start operations until November.

Last edited by volare7266; 1st Mar 2016 at 13:51.
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 12:59
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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The UK Government's Department for International Development is renowned in Whitehall for not having the sharpest pencils in the box from the pool of civil servants, among other things they started this St Helena project by asking UK construction contractors to quote Fixed Price for the project without even giving the facility for those tendering to visit the project site and do a detailed engineering assessment. Among other things there's still a grudge in Whitehall against the construction contractors who built the Falklands airfield, a not dissimilar challenge, in the 1980s, and are felt to have "made a fortune".

One result is they seem to have inadequate budgetary provisions for all the variations and rework at the end of the project. It's generally true that if you go for the cheapest contractor, rather than mainstream ones you give continuing projects to, they will be looking for every little variation to be priced and confirmed before they start. Correcting design errors and identifying who will pay for this can start to really drag the project conclusion.

Top blunt pencil is the Secretary, Justine Greening, MP for Putney, who in an ill-starred brief stay heading the Department for Transport (until she was finally sussed by Cameron and moved to the dead water of the DfID) was renowned for being no friend of aviation, or anything to do with it, mainly on the basis that her millionaire neighbours on West Hill don't care for hearing inbounds to Heathrow passing by their Sunday morning cocktail parties. I suspect that Saints have a slightly different approach to life.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 00:38
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Comair's CEO Erik Venter about St. Helena Airport (Source BDlive 29 February 2016)
.
Test flights to the island’s new airport have been completed, but a date for the start of commercial flights has not yet been set.
Mr Venter said Comair was still waiting for certification of the airport in St Helena for ticket sales to begin.

I'm not sure what 'test flights' he means, the calibration flights ?
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 09:40
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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New Aircraft for Comair St Helena service.

A little news taken from the St Helena Independent of the 11 March:
Comair has now taken delivery of its brand new Boeing 737-
800 aircraft which will be used to serve St Helena Airport from
Johannesburg.
The actual aircraft, registration ZS-ZWG, is pictured in the
two photos attached.
Comair Chief Executive Officer, Erik Venter, said:
“The arrival of our newest addition is part of our ongoing fleet
upgrade strategy and an important step towards operating
the most modern and efficient fleet within southern Africa.
“We are very excited that this aircraft will be operating our St
Helena air service”.
The 737-800 aircraft is the second-longest plane in the 737
range, known for its fuel efficiency and spacious seating plan.
It is fitted with split-scimitar winglets - vertical wingtip exten-
sions that reduce drag and provide lift, cutting fuel consump-
tion and lowering the aircraft’s carbon footprint.
For the St Helena air service, the aircraft will be configured to
accommodate approximately 120 passengers.
SHG
4 March 2016
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 11:20
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Update 10 March 2016

Following the completion of additional desktop audits with the regulator, Air Safety Support International (ASSI) at the end of January, Basil Read has now progressed to the final round of desktop audits. Pending the outcome of these, the next step will be an on-site audit by ASSI. This is provisionally scheduled for early April 2016.
Source: St. Helena Tourism Blog 10 March 2016

Will be interesting to see how ASSI will come to the island early April. By ship, Beechcraft, 737-800 or else ...
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Old 13th Mar 2016, 15:08
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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New info on relocated navaids at St Helena

I have found some information on the new positions of the relocated navaids at St Helena Airport. The localizer antenna is now located much closer to the runway (as before, on the inland side) at the edge of the levelled strip, and its offset has been reduced from about 15 to 5 degrees.

The runway has a magnetic heading of about 196 degrees (from Google Earth and the magnetic variation) therefore the beam now gives an approach heading of about 201 degrees magnetic.

The VOR has been relocated on the same side as the localizer, approximately abeam the midpoint of the runway and about 850m directly behind the localizer antenna, so that the approach heading for a VOR/DME approach will be the same as that for the localizer/DME approach. It's interesting that with the reduced approach offset, the consequences of a late decision to go around from an approach have been significantly reduced.

The previous 15 degree offset had the aircraft heading directly for the high ground to the west of the runway (i.e. inland from the control tower/terminal) so a late decision to go around could have been catastrophic. By continuing on the new approach of 201 degrees magnetic, the aircraft should easily clear the high ground and get back safely over the sea, even if the left turn missed approach procedure is delayed.

The new position of the VOR may still problematic, however. Someone has already mentioned the metal security fence - this would almost certainly be a problem, running as it does (did?) parallel to the runway, just right to give a nice reflection out onto the approach path to runway 20. But its new location is even more of a problem for the opposite approach to runway 02. There are the terminal and combined buildings, fire rig and all sorts of metalwork out in that direction, and in particular the apron where any parked aircraft could cause reflections. So it may be that the VOR/DME approach to runway 02 will be unusable.

Since there is no localizer for runway 02, that only leaves a non-precision NDB/DME approach. However, this may be perfectly acceptable, as the prevailing winds probably mean that landing from the southerly direction will be extremely rare. (The NDB by the way has not been relocated, as far as I know - it is on the seaward side of the runway, roughly opposite the apron location.)

Of course, the ground based augmented satellite system (GBAS) has the possibility of providing good guidance to both runway directions. However, at present this is FAA certified to Category 1 only, the same as the localizer/DME approach, although in time this may be improved upon. But GBAS is dependent on ASSI approving its use. As far as I can tell from the Honeywall website, no UK overseas territory has yet had a GBAS system installed, so St Helena will be a first for ASSI to approve. (Oh, decisions, decisions!)

The recent announcement of the acquisition by COMAIR of a new aircraft for the St Helena route implied that it was fitted with "special" electronic navaid equipment - I assume this refers to the GBAS functionality needed to take advantage of the St Helena installation.
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Old 14th Mar 2016, 09:22
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Well done Broken Biscuits , great detective work to find out the information above.
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Old 14th Mar 2016, 15:10
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Broken Biscuits I have all the released SHG documents from the invitation stages. Megabytes of pdf. As the St Helena Access website is a very large and slow download, I could share a quicker download with you to flesh out the bare bones. [Google Earth does have uncorrected errors because it is a flat plane mosaic and I have a host of other data plus some survey data already published but not widely known]. And I have the original DOS 71/4 Ladder Hill Astro Survey plus pristine 1:0000 prints and transparencies. You see I participated in the 1989 aerial survey of St Helena. I'd like to see your stuff plotted. If you already have the WS Atkins docs as published by SHG all well and good. It took me a whole day to download on an appallingly slow link. If not get in touch. Very well done, I know what it is like getting anything at all out of SHG.
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Old 17th Mar 2016, 19:52
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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tentative offering

Nothwithstanding all the issues to be resolved [including smartpath] Atlantic Star Airlines announces approval for its 2016 UK to St. Helena charter flight programme subject to airport certification being completed.

TravelPack Ltd is ticketing partner and initially flights will be from Luton with a stop at Banjul. The operator is the TUIfly branch of the Netherlands organistion using B737-800 aircraft.

The proposal is tentative and dependent on certification but The first flights will be on the following dates, operated on a Boeing 737-800 by TUIfly (Netherlands) under their flight number, prefix OR. Flights will stop briefly in Banjul (‘BJL’), Gambia, for re-fuel and a change of flight crew, in each direction. All times are expressed in local time.


Sunday 22? May
OR1502 LTN-BJL 2330-0450 (following day)
OR1502 BJL-HLE 0550-1045

Monday 23? May
OR2002 HLE-BJL 1145-1630
OR2002 BJL-LTN 1730-0040 (following day)

Sunday 5? June
OR1502 LTN-BJL 2330-0450 (following day)
OR1502 BJL-HLE 0550-1045

Monday 6? June
OR2002 HLE-BJL 1145-1630
OR2002 BJL-LTN 1730-0040 (following day)

Journey time in each direction is around 12 hours.

Ticket prices start at £1299 return inclusive of all fees and taxes.
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Old 17th Mar 2016, 22:08
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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Atlantic Star

Thank you enicalyth. So it seems both UK and St. Helena governments have granted fifth freedom rights to Dutch TUi Fly Netherlands.

In today's Sentinel Atlantic Star confirmes, that Travel Pack ('as ticketing agent') will sell the tickets that will be Atol bonded. But who is the charterer ?
The charterer is the contractual partner of both the passengers and the operating carrier.

I guess the 'small print' will answer that once tickets go on sale.
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Old 17th Mar 2016, 23:39
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Presume a crew change in Banjul, with one crew operating from there to St Helena and back in one day. TUI appear to have other flights from Amsterdam to Banjul to interchange crews with.

What is their alternate for St Helena ? Presumably back to Banjul is impractical.
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 03:27
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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isld resv?

I understand that talks are ongoing.

Volare, are you saying that Atlantic Star is NOT the charterer?

Among the issues, and there are many, remain siting and "sighting" of the DVOR and clearance if any to use smartpath and when. Not just platitudes and waffle but in place, working and of course WORKING in the intended user airfcraft.
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 07:27
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The news section of the Atlantic Star website states that due to having to use St Helena in daylight hours only LTN would offer them a nighttime landing slot for 00:40

With a St Helena arrival and departure time of 10:45 and 11:45 why could they not bring the flight times forward by an hour or so to give them more flexibility in arriving in the UK before midnight?
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 12:45
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LTNMAN you make me smile. St Helena is used to being bottom of the heap in more matters than flying. At least there are not many incoming flights after 23:30 UTC so all the connections are likely to have been made. In still air it is about 3hrs 48mins to Banjul at least from Gatwick it is and thence 4hrs 9mins to St Helena passing overhead Ascension. Winds at the 85% annual reliability are significant though not strong and because of low lying mists a "too early" arrival is not a good idea. The required Island Reserve for an A319/B738 class aircraft is about 5300kg not including contingency so it has to be finely judged. Then you have to get back. Now it becomes like cycling, it does not matter which direction you go there is always a 14 knot headwind. Add to that the price of fuel being 200% and I want my Island Resv to be as intact as possible and I don't want to use up too many of my limited flying hours. Nice try but I think you are being dealt the hand of cards.

Last edited by enicalyth; 18th Mar 2016 at 12:48. Reason: stuck keyboard
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Old 18th Mar 2016, 15:17
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enicalyth, I don't know who is the charterer. I find it very strange that Atlantic Star is not telling that potential passengers. Atlantic Stars refers to Travel Pack only as their 'ticketing agent' only but not as the charterer of the aircraft.

The charterer is the contractual partner of both the passengers and the operating carrier. The charterer is responsible for making sure passengers don't get stranded somewhere. Therefore charterers are required by law to provide protection and be bonded. If the flights are ATOL protected the name of the charterer will be included in the list of ATOL bonded operators with a reference number. Until recently I have not found Atlantic Star in that list.

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapp...n.aspx?appid=2

In the 'Sentinel' yesterday one could read the following from Atlantic Star:

CAA is not familiar with the brand new St. Helena Airport, so they are taking their time. They want to make sure that people can get back from the island if something goes wrong, but Atlantic Star are confident we will get the green light soon.
And this has absolutely nothing to do with airport certification.

Last edited by volare7266; 18th Mar 2016 at 16:04.
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Old 19th Mar 2016, 10:17
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thanks volare, most helpful

I have used "companies house", the UK Govt service to find who is who and what standing they have. Anyone can do it and I would advise anyone intending to travel to do the same. Note particularly when company reports are due and if they done in time and how much financial backing they, credit ratings etc. It is like buying a house, securing a mortgage, arranging one's pension. The ordinary citizen is expected to show due diligence. Like you my advice is general and not directed towards any specific issue but I have been around a long time. My connections with St Helena are well known, likewise my nationality and the well-known airline I flew with.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...ompanies-house.
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Old 19th Mar 2016, 11:28
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Pay £50 now - get £100 discount later

Atlantic Star has just announced a 'Priority Club'

updated: ATLANTIC STAR AIRLINES LAUNCHES PRIORITY CLUB
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Old 19th Mar 2016, 12:39
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Just an addendum to make it quite clear that certification of the airport and the role of SHG and others in the context the whole DBO affair has nothing to do with any airline or any other carrier. Indeed SHG will give you pretty short shrift if you as an intending consumer conflate the separate issues.

This is an enterprise economy and not an example of philanthropy in action, you as a an intending consumer share the risks so be aware of what that involves. I want to see the charterer's name not some ticketing agency whatever that means and I want to see the full ATOL details in the public domain. And much else besides but that will do for starters.
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Old 20th Mar 2016, 18:09
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you may not like the answers..............
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