St Helena : The Latest Series on Air Access
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Juanita Brock) 18.11.2003 (Article Archived on 02.12.2003)
Over the past six weeks there has been significant progress on planning for an airport on Saint Helena. Although this has been a dream of many Saints for a long time, this dream may shortly become a reality.
Air Access Update No. 2
Councillor Eric George MBE, Councillor Eric Benjamin, and the Government Economist will be visiting London in connection with air access. All three are members of the St Helena Air Access Team, which has been meeting on a regular basis to discuss the introduction of air access to St Helena.
The purpose of the visit is for the Councillors and the Government Economist to be fully involved in the development of evaluation strategy and project planning sessions. These sessions will take place from 30 September to 7 October.
The group will depart St Helena on 22 September.
SHG Press Office
17 September 2003
Air Access Update No 3
Air Access Negotiation Contract Awarded
Following the receipt of innovative Expressions of Interest to provide a new airport and airline for SHG and HMG, St Helena Government is pleased to announce the appointment of UK based Atkins to be its adviser in the provision of air access to the Island. Atkins will lead and support the process of evaluating submissions, clarifications, negotiating a draft contract and moving to financial closure.
At present a delegation from St Helena is in London for talks on the four expressions of interest received from the private sector. Together with HMGs DFID staff and Atkins, the delegation is planning a clear way forward to bring about the realisation of air access in the shortest time possible without compromising quality and sustainability.
The talks are giving consideration to:
- a project work plan;
- procurement planning;
- consultation with Saints on the plan;
- specification of output requirements from prospective developers.
In the opinion of SHG, air access will not only make links with the rest of the world less time consuming but will also provide the infrastructure that will lead to sustainable economic growth for the Island.
‘In our experience’ said Atkins Head of Aviation, Jamie Jamieson ‘getting the project planning correct at the outset avoids pitfalls later’.
The next Air Access Update will give information on the outcome of the talks.
SHG Press Office
2 October 2003
Air Access Update No 4
SHG’s London delegation arrived back on Sunday after briefing Atkins’ - the consultancy selected by SHG to act as advisors on development of air access and related economic activities.
The delegation consisted of Hon Eric George MBE and Hon Eric Benjamin MLC supported by Adrian Green, and was joined in London by Kedell Worboys, SHG’s UK representative, and Jack Peeters SHG consultant.
Briefing sessions were spread over several days and included Clive Warren, Head of DFID OTD, along with other key members of the DFID Overseas Territories Division and DFID Procurement and Legal support officers.
Commenting on the visit the delegation said ‘We are now expecting Atkins to prepare a Project Plan covering next steps and key tasks, and to make early contact with the parties expressing an interest in Air Access to St Helena to initiate clarifications’.
During the visit the delegation also met with UK Minister Gareth Thomas who reiterated the HMG commitment to supporting Air Access to St Helena and economic revitalisation.
As an immediate result of the visit, Atkins Project Manager, Barry Patterson, will be visiting St Helena from the 14 to 22 November, to consult Executive and Legislative Council and meet key stakeholders including the public.
SHG Press Office
15 October 2003
Air Access Update No 5
Atkins have announced that they have conducted an initial appraisal of the four responses received to the invitation for expressions of interest in the Air Access project.
Atkins were appointed to act as SHG’s advisors in relation to air access at the end of September and briefed in during the first half of October by a delegation from St Helena.
The Atkins Project Manager, Barry Patterson, said ‘we have now concluded our initial appraisal of the responses and have started to make contact for clarifications - in writing - with the four respondents.
We will be starting a meeting process with the respondents from next week, either face to face or via telephone conferencing; and have already confirmed some of the meetings. I anticipate that these will be very interesting.’
Atkins Project Manager will be visiting St Helena in mid November and is drawing up a programme of meetings and drafting a number of information requests to support detailed clarification. During the visit public meetings will be held.
SHG Press Office
29th October 2003
Air Access Update No 6
Over the past six weeks there has been significant progress on planning for an airport on Saint Helena. Although this has been a dream of many Saints for a long time, this dream may shortly become a reality. We use the word "shortly" in relative terms as Saints have been living with this dream for over 50 years. There is still a great deal of technical and commercial thinking and analysis to do and decisions to make before a deal can be struck. Then, it will take perhaps as long as three years to build the aerodrome with an appropriate terminal building and landing strip. Yet, this is not long in the overall scheme of things.
The airport is seen by many Islanders as critical to the future economic development of the Island. Such air access will greatly reduce the time it takes to reach and leave the Island, hopefully at significantly lower cost to passengers. This would be a case of a double win for Islanders and Saints living and working off of the Island, particularly for the UK Saints community. It opens up a wide scope of business opportunities - in tourism, fishing, fauna, commercial services and many more.
Atkins have carried out a series of meetings (either face-to-face or by telephone conference) with the four respondents. These meetings revealed a number of innovative ideas for the development of the air access project. Atkins’ role was to challenge these ideas to determine their technical feasibility and commercial plausibility. Their draft findings will shortly be submitted to and discussed by the Air Access Team.
On 14th November, Atkins’ Project Manager will be arriving in Jamestown to conduct a programme of meetings both with various officials and relevant representatives on the Island and with the public. During his eight-day stay, the Islanders will have the opportunity to express their opinions on the project. It is important that Atkins understands fully the views of the Islanders when representing us in negotiations. At the same time, it will be an opportunity for us to learn more about the intricacies of this development.
SHG Press Office
12th November 2003