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South Atlantic Airbridge ops at Ascension Island suspended - ch-aviation

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South Atlantic Airbridge ops at Ascension Island suspended

AirTanker Airbus A330-200 opf Royal Air Force © AirTanker 28.04.2017 - 11:02 UTC

The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (MOD) has advised that it has suspended South Atlantic Airbridge operations at Ascension Island's Georgetown Wideawake airfield, due to the condition of the runway there.

The island is used as a stopover for the Royal Air Force's South Atlantic Airbridge which connects Mount Pleasant, in the Falkland Islands, with Brize Norton on the United Kingdom mainland. The flights operate using AirTanker (9L, Brize Norton) A330-200s and, according to Flightradar24 ADS-B data, have been using Dakar Yoff-Léopold Sédar Senghor Int'l, Senegal, as an intermediate stopover since April 16.

A spokesperson for the UK Government has confirmed that the runway is to be replaced. "The MOD is working with the USAF [United States Air Force] to monitor and repair issues with the runway surface, to mitigate transportation impacts, and to prepare for full runway replacement.”

In the meantime, the Government of Ascension Island has announced that the island's travel agency is unable to process any further flight bookings until the status of Wideawake's 3,000 metre-long asphalt runway 13/31 is clarified. Emergency medical evacuation flights are not affected.

Located in the South Atlantic Ocean 1,600 kilometres from continental Africa and 2,250 kilometres from Brazil, the St. Helena and Ascension islands are among the most remote inhabited islands in the world. Despite its location, Ascension Island is home to RAF Ascension Island, a European Space Agency rocket tracking station, a joint US-British signals intelligence facility, and the BBC World Service Atlantic Relay Station.

About Royal Air Force

TypeGovernment BaseBrize Norton Aircraft40

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Atlantic Star eyes Ascension Island flights

05.08.2017 - 03:46 UTC

Atlantic Star Airlines (London Luton) has announced it is looking at starting regular flights to the British Overseas Territory of Ascension Island. The volcanic island lies in the equatorial waters of the South Atlantic Ocean, around 1,600 kilometres from the coast of Africa and 2,250 kilometres from the coast of Brazil. It is currently home to a Royal Air Force base, Georgetown Wideawake.

In a statement, Atlantic Star Airlines said it was working with technical partner Cello Aviation (CLJ, Birmingham Int'l) to offer a regular UK-originating air service to the island which has seen its only such connection - the South Atlantic Air Bridge - suspended until 2019/20. As previously reported, service using A330-200s sourced from AirTanker (9L, Brize Norton) would only be able to resume once Wideawake's asphalt runway 13/31 is repaired.

"Discussions with Ascension Island stakeholders about a potential solution are ongoing and remain confidential at this time," it said.

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