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

  • Wang Mingzhu / VCG via Getty

    Photos: The World’s Largest Airport-Terminal Building

    A look at the construction of Beijing Daxing International Airport, a massive new transportation facility set to open later this year

  • Juan Oliphant / oneoceandiving.com / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Ice Disk, Pet Blessings, Presidential Burgers

    Teachers on strike in Los Angeles, “Kiss a Ginger Day” in Ireland, a terror attack in Nairobi, fashion shows in Berlin and Paris, the “No Pants Subway Ride” in New York, and much more

  • Ricardo Mazalan / AP

    Photos From the 2019 Dakar Rally

    On January 7, a group of 334 competitors began the 41st annual Dakar Rally: a punishing 10-day, 3,000-mile race across the Peruvian desert.

  • Ilya Terentyev / Getty

    Built to Separate: Border Barriers Around the World

    As more and more walls are built along borders worldwide, a look at some famous and some lesser-known barriers across the globe.