RMS St. Helena, Wikipedia User Neil Fantom, CC 2.0

St. Helena is a British territory located off the west coast of Africa. Currently passenger and cargo traffic to St. Helena is transported to the island via a Royal Mail Ship (one of four left in service), which takes five days to travel from Cape Town, or you can alternatively take the same ship from Ascension Island (slightly closer), if you fly the RAF from Brize Norton (you can actually book commercial tickets).

St. Helena has a population of about 4,500, and there’s been a long effort to bring commercial air service to the island. The British government has constructed a modern airport on the island, but service has been suspended indefinitely after test flights with a Boeing 737 identified a possible issue with winds surrounding the airport. Here’s some footage from those tests:

A couple of weeks ago Embraer sent a demonstration airplane to repeat the tests, and had better results:

Here’s an interview with the pilot of that flight:

The last three Youtube videos were shot by Darrin & Sharon Henry, who run a blog at www.whatthesaintsdidnext.com that’s well worth checking out for information on the airport and on the island. They’ve got a post up there from a couple of days ago with pictures of a C-130 landing (the first fixed wing military aircraft to land on the island).