The runway at Georgetown Wideawake Airport on Ascencion Island will be repaired by 2022 allowing AirTanker-operated A330-200 flights to return, Fluor, the company which won the contract, said in a statement. The USD170 million-dollar deal to upgrade the 3,054 x 46-meter asphalt runway 13/31 was awarded to the engineering and construction firm by the United States Air Force Installation Contracting Agency. The work is scheduled to be completed in 28 months, following a February 2020 start.

The task order was awarded under the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program IV (AFCAP IV), a position Fluor has held since 2015. Established by the US Air Force to fulfil the Department of Defense's global mission during contingency events, AFCAP provides the Air Force and other government agencies with additional capabilities to rapidly support the logistic requirements of its deployed forces using civilian contractors.

"We are honoured to be selected to support the Air Force and to be a part of its global mission," said Tom D'Agostino, President of Fluor's Government Group. "Ascension Auxiliary Airfield is in a strategic location, and the runway is the lifeline to the island. Fluor excels at projects like this where it delivers timely and cost-effective solutions in some of the most remote and difficult locations in the world."

Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island south of the equator in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha under the sovereignty of the British Crown.

Since April 2017, the island's 800 residents have not had access to direct flights to the UK, due to potholes on the runway at Wideawake Airfield. AirTanker connected the island 4x weekly from Brize Norton Air Force Base, bringing not just soldiers destined for the Falkland Islands, but also tourists and freight.

To leave Ascension by air, locals and tourists depend on a once a month E190 connection by South African Airlink to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo, which operates via St. Helena and Walvis Bay in Namibia, according to the ch-aviation schedules module.