The Opening of 'The World’s Most Useless Airport' in Remote Saint Helena

Last weekend, after five years of construction and controversy, the tiny and isolated British island of Saint Helena welcomed its first scheduled commercial flight. Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most remote islands in the world—a volcanic outcrop with an area of only 47 square miles. According to Reuters, the only way to access the island previously was by sea, “a five-night voyage from Cape Town.” The new airport, servicing the 4,500 island inhabitants with flights from South Africa, was built at a cost of $374 million. Construction was completed in 2016, but test flights ran into serious weather-related problems, pushing the opening back more than a year, leading to the nickname “world’s most useless airport.” Gathered here are a handful of images from the inaugural flight and from around Saint Helena.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Grassy Biker, Welsh Surfer, Chilean Pups

    A White Walker roams Northern Ireland, flooding threatens parts of the U.S. and Mali, a Japanese satellite visits an asteroid, American bison are raised in Mexico, and much more

  • Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty

    Photos: 25 Fridays of Protest in Gaza

    For nearly six months now, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have been staging weekly demonstrations along the border between Gaza and Israel—protests they call the “Great March of Return.”

  • Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    Studying Greenland’s Ice to Understand Climate Change

    Lucas Jackson, a photographer with Reuters, recently joined a team of scientists studying Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers.

  • Jonathan Drake / Reuters

    Photos: Pet Rescues in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

    Dogs, cats, and other animals that were left behind, or caught in the storm, are being rescued and cared for by owners, neighbors, and first responders.