To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current situation regarding commercial flights to and from Ascension Island; what recent discussions they have had with the government of the United States of America on commercial flights; and whether they plan to increase commercial flights through the island. [HL3806]
In 2003, the Governments of the UK and US entered into a bilateral agreement (the Wideawake agreement) that allows up to four movements (take off or landing) to be made by civil aircraft not engaged in scheduled international air services at the US Wideawake airfield on Ascension Island in any one week. Each movement must be approved by the administrator on Ascension Island.
The Governments of the UK and the US renewed this agreement for a further five years in September 2008. There are no current plans to increase commercial flights through Ascension Island. We may need to revisit this agreement with the US should the Government decide in favour of building an airport on St Helena.