In September 2008, Governor in Council on St Helena granted permission for the construction of the Airport and related infrastructure. The contract to Design, Build and Operate St Helena Airport was awarded to Basil Read (a South African construction company) in 2011 and signed on 3rd November 2011.
Following significant earthworks on Island, overcoming the logistical challenge of importing and transporting essential materials to site which involved constructing a 14km road, and constructing a new airport and associated facilities at a ‘greenfield’ site, St Helena Airport was certified for operations by Air Safety Support International (ASSI) on 10th May 2016. This achievement was made all the more remarkable by the issuance of an aerodrome certificate at the first attempt.
Following its construction, the Airport has opened-up rapid access to the rest of the world and has already proven itself following the successful completion of a number of medevac flights to take seriously ill patients to the African mainland to receive life-saving treatment. Commercial air services commenced on 14th October 2017 with a weekly flight connecting St Helena to South Africa, and a monthly flight connecting St Helena with Ascension Island. The Airport also accommodates frequent private and charter flights, as well as technical stops by aircraft using St Helena as a hop between South America and southern/western Africa.