This letter by BLUE’s executive director, Charles Clover appeared in The Times today:
Sir, Further to your report “Runway crack leaves hundreds stranded in middle of Atlantic” (June 29), the Americans are in no hurry to repair the runway at Ascension before it is scheduled to be rebuilt in 2019, because their military aircraft can still land but the RAF Voyager aircraft cannot. The Foreign Office is offering residents one small plane a month from St Helena from this autumn.
The British government needs to reassure Ascension islanders that it will not mothball the island and will support the inhabitants as custodians of the largest marine reserve in the Atlantic, due to be declared in 2019. Ministers need to ask which is the more expensive: a temporary fix for the runway, three extra flights a month from Africa via St Helena, or allowing the island’s economy to collapse?
Blue Marine Foundation
See a link to The Times website here.