"The most useless airport in the world" started its work in 2017, at St. Helena Island, where Napoleon I spent the last years of his life.
This place is extremely interesting for tourists, but it's very difficult to get there. St. Helena Island remains one of the most remote corners of the world.
Its history is mostly associated with the last years of Napoleon's life. This island lies in the Atlantic Ocean 1800 km from the west of Africa. The island is not part of the UK, but it belongs to it on the rights of overseas possessions.
In total, there are just over five thousand people living on the island. Mostly they are engaged in fishing, breeding livestock, and selling handicrafts. It is really hard to get there: before the airport was built it could only be reached by water from South Africa, and this journey took almost a week. As a result, the economy of this territory fully depends on the United Kingdom’s help.
How British taxpayers get "the most useless airport in the world"?
In order to "make the islands self-sufficient," the British government decided to build an airport there. The building of the first runway was completed in 2015. It costs the UK government about 285 million pounds sterling (about 320 million euros). For this money, British taxpayers get "the most useless airport in the world" - the bad weather conditions make aircraft landings extremely dangerous.
About 200 years ago it was already known by seafarers that St. Helena Island is very windy. Extremely strong winds blow there almost all the time, but the airport builders did not take this fact into account. The first flight was to take place in May 2016, but the miracle did not happen: the wind made the flight impossible. The aircraft could do nothing but turn around and go back to the place it started. Since then, the airport has had just a few working days - for charter and medical aircraft.
In addition, the South African airline SA Airlink took 13 flights in test mode; finally, it was decided to start regular passenger flights.
The flight starts in Johannesburg with an intermediate stop for refueling in Namibia (total distance is more than 3 thousand km). The journey takes 6 hours and 15 minutes; the cheapest flight round-trip will cost 804 pounds (900 euros).
Despite its remoteness, last year St. Helena Island received about 8,000 tourists; this is twice the number of local residents.
St. Helena Island is a quiet and cozy place, with a lot of XVI century fortresses. If you want to see the edge of the world, it is right here.