END MARCH 2023 DATE SET FOR WIDEAWAKE COMPLETION
By J Brock (FINN)
At an Ascension Island Council meeting held on 26 January 2023, the Head of the Administrator’s Office (HoAO) updated Members on the runway project at Wideawake Airfield.
One article about the closure stated that: “This is a lengthy and complex process which will not see the RAF utilizing the runway at Ascension until at least 2020” Finally, in 2023, we can see the end of thee process.
“The project is going well with the expected completion date at the end of March 2023,” he said.
He went on to say the date was subject to commissioning of the final electrical signage and the completion of the concrete work, followed by the airport’s certification by the Federal /Aviation Administration (FAA).
Other works need to be completed before Ascension sees its first airbridge flight. Associated re-surfacing of the roads is underway in Georgetown, with the Ascension Island’s (AIG) Stores to the Pierhead section expected to be completed in early February.
In response to the Announcement, Cllr Nichols requested clarification on when the construction contractors are expected to depart the Island, He concluded by saying that the need for accommodation was acute.
HoAO explained that it was necessary for demobilisation to take place in stages and will not cause any delay to the return of the airbridge.
Cllr Nichols mentioned that there was a great amount of dust and damage to road surfaces in the Cuba Area of Georgetown caused by heavy machinery used by the contractors. Evidently the damage along diversion routes was also noticeable.
The Administrator agreed to raise these points with the Runway Project Manager and the AIG Operations and Facilities Director.
The runway at Wideawake closed in April 2017 for what was thought to be two and a half years but COVID and other logistical problems the work had to be rescheduled. Since the runway’s closure, the Airbridge from the Falklands to Brize Norton in the UK had to be diverted, first to Senegal and then to Cape Verde.
Source: Ascension Island Government