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UPDATE: The opening of St. Helena Airport in the South Atlantic is delayed by 3 months as ILS calibration flights in September discovered that the DVOR and Localiser have to be moved and a whole new instrument approach into HLE has to be redesigned. A short delay for the very anxious 4,200 inhabitants that are eager to be ‘connected’ by air to the rest of the world, and to say good bye to a 5 day one way voyage to Cape Town, that has been the only regular outside link for many years. Last month was the 200th anniversary of the arrival on St. Helena of exiled (his 2nd exile) Emperor of France, His Majesty Napoleon Bonaparte after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, he would die on St. Helena on May 5, 1821, and soon his final resting place at Longwood, will be easily accessible to all, after 200 years of isolation from the rest of the world.

The opening of the world’s most remote airport, St. Helena Airport (IATA-HLE, ICAO-FHSH) in the South Atlantic, will now be delayed from February, 2016 to May, 2016.

The September ILS calibration tests, which saw the very first aircraft ever to land on St. Helena, have not gone well. The team from South Africa’s Flight Calibration Services Limited (FCSL) and TAB Charters whose King Air B200 was used will have to come back to the island, as the ILS approaches have to be redesigned and the DVOR and Localiser will have to be relocated to a better position ? no details given why.

The island is anxious to join the rest of the world, its 4,200 inhabitants are excited to have regular air service to the island, instead of the 5 day one way ship voyage to Cape Town, South Africa that today is the only means of getting to and from the British island.

Comair of South Africa will launch a weekly B737-800 service while Atlantic Star Airlines out of Luton, England plans to fly a B737-800 TUIFly (Netherlands) with a fueling stop in Banjul, Gambia, having dropped the idea of a non-stop B757 service for now.

St. Helena is the island where His Imperial Majesty Napoleon Bonaparte after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in June, 1815, it was his second exile and his last, he would die on May 5, 1821 at Longwood, St. Helena at the age of 51, for those interested further down is some brief history and some initial thoughts of St. Helena upon his arrival in October ,1815.

PREVIOUS BLOG ARTICLES ON St. Helena Airport are from September 30, 2015 and April 21, 2015


V0006858 The death of Napoleon Bonaparte at St Helena in 1821. Lithog Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org The death of Napoleon Bonaparte at St Helena in 1821. Lithograph after Baron Steuben. By: Charles Auguste Guillaume Henri François Louis SteubenPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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A Brief of Napoleon’s fall and 2nd exile to St. Helena, for those who are interested in world history

After his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, Napoleon retreated to Paris where (due to a lack of support from his military marshals) he was forced to renounce his throne in April 1814. The European powers exiled him to the island of Elba in the Mediterranean. Within eleven months, however, Napoleon was back on the European continent at the head of a hastily-raised army intent on restoring Napoleon to the throne of France. Napoleon’s defeat came in June 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

This time, the European powers were not going to take any chances on Napoleon’s possible return. They exiled him to the island of St. Helena – a barren, wind-swept rock located in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Fall of an Emperor

Among the small entourage that accompanied the deposed Emperor into exile was the Comte de Las Cases who kept a diary of his experience:

“August 10

This day we cleared the Channel. We had now entered upon the dreary unknown course to which fate had doomed us. Again my agonies were renewed; again the dear connections I had abandoned resumed their sway over my heart… Meanwhile we advanced in our course and were soon to be out of Europe. Thus, in less than six weeks, had the emperor abdicated his throne and placed himself in the hands of the English, who were now hurrying him to a barren rock in the midst of a vast ocean. This is certainly no ordinary instance of the chances of fortune, and no common trial of firmness of mind.

October 23-24

The Emperor Napoleon, who lately possessed such boundless power and disposed of so many crowns, now occupies a wretched hovel, a few feet square, which is perched upon a rock, unprovided with furniture, and without either shutters or curtains to the windows. This place must serve him for bedchamber, dressing room, dining room, study, and sitting room; and he is obliged to go out when it is necessary to have this one apartment cleaned. His meals, consisting of a few wretched dishes, are brought to him from a distance, as though he were a criminal in a dungeon. He is absolutely in want of the necessaries of life: the bread and wine are not only not such as he has been accustomed to, but are so bad that we loathe to touch them; water, coffee, butter, oil, and other articles are either not to be procured or are scarcely fit for use…We were all assembled around the emperor, and he was recapitulating these facts with warmth: ‘For what infamous treatment are we reserved!’ he exclaimed. This is the anguish of death. To injustice and violence they now add insult and protracted torment. If I were so hateful to them, why did they not get rid of me? A few musket balls in my heart or my head would have done the business, and there would at least have been some energy in the crime. Were it not for you, and above all for your wives, I would receive nothing from them but the pay of a private soldier. How can the monarchs of Europe permit the sacred character of sovereignty to be violated in my person? Do they not see that they are, with their own hands, working their own destruction at St. Helena?’

‘I entered their capitals victorious and, had I cherished such sentiments, what would have become of them? They styled me their brother, and I had become so by the choice of the people, the sanction of victory, the character of religion, and the alliances of their policy and their blood. Do they imagine that the good sense of nations is blind to their conduct? And what do they expect from it? At all events, make your complaints, gentlemen; let indignant Europe hear them. Complaints from me would be beneath my dignity and character; I must either command or be silent.'”



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