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Falkland Islands Government Air Service: Map

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Stanley Airport
Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) is an airline based in Stanleymarker, Falkland Islandsmarker. It operates non-scheduled passenger services throughout the Falkland Islands. It also undertakes aerial surveillance of the economic exclusion zone surrounding the islands. Its main base is Port Stanley Airportmarker.

History

The airline was established in 1948 and started operations on 24 December 1948. It was formed to provide medical and mail services to outlying farming communities. Prior to 1981 the airline used de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver float planes but in that year they bought the first of Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft which now constitute the current fleet. This aircraft and all the Beaver aircraft were destroyed during the Falklands War. After the war FIGAS initially carried out a helicopter service using a captured Argentine Bell UH1 painted in FIGAS colours, however damage was discovered to the airframe and the service stopped soon after. The fleet of aircraft was then built up to its current level of 6 aircraft over a period of years during the 1980s.

It is a vital link to the more remote settlements delivering post, vital goods, and moving people. Less vital items can be delivered by the coastal resupply vessel. Other than the Sikorsky S61N helicopters operated by the British International company for the MOD, FIGAS is the only fast link around the islands. Details of who's flying where and at what time are announced on local radio the night before the flight date. Though almost all the settlements they fly to now have grass airstrips, on Pebble Islandmarker the aircraft still sometimes land on the sand beach.

Fleet

BN Islander, VP-FBD in 1994


The FIGAS fleet consists of the following aircraft (at March 2007) :



The three passenger aircraft are considered to be approaching the end of their service lives. The subject of their replacement with newer airframes, is currently being considered by the Falkland Islands Government.

References




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