St Helena has just seen the completion of a spanking brand new airport… sorry motorway.
All the latest materials and construction techniques were employed to bring this airport, sorry lovely straight short motorway and single accompanying state-of-the-art motorway service station at one end, to the British owned island.
The windswept ocean rock is so inaccessible that it was once used to exile and imprison Napoleon Bonaparte in his final days after the Battle of Waterloo.
So residents of the 122 square kilometre island in the middle of the South Atlantic had been promised a shiny new airport by the British government via the overseas development program. This would have opened the land up to tourism and development.
After spending £280 million and building the facility, only then did an analysis by the meteorological office reveal windy conditions there would prohibit the landing of commercial aircraft. Apparently no one had read the report written by Charles Darwin 150 years ago of adverse winds on the 10 by 6 mile speck in the ocean.
As a result, MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) attacked the development department in Westminster and there are calls to cut the overseas development budget; cruel punishment of the St Helenese for the sins of London.
So now, at least there will now be a lovely brand new straight tiny motorway and beautiful service station with blank departure and arrival boards for islanders to dream of what it would’ve been like to have had an airport.