The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
Falkland Islands Islander aircraft


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The Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS)operates a fleet of five nine-seater Britten Norman Island aircraft, one being dedicated to Maritime Patrol. This service is vital to the outlying camp and islands, providing a medical link to the hospital in Stanley and carrying mail, passengers and provisions. Thirty five airstrips are served around the islands and a plane can be 'booked' for an air-taxi to any destination. Other services are commercial charters where a plane can be chartered and used exclusively as wished for 'Round Robin' flights originating in Stanley, and scenic flights are also possible. Animals including sheep, goats and pigs have been known to travel by these planes.


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History of FIGAS.

As early as 1938 the then Governor Sir Herbert Henniker-Heston saw the need for an air service for the islands.
By 1946 Governor Miles Clifford recognised the need for a Government backed air ambulance service to the camp. At the time medical cases had to go to Stanley by land or sea. In 1948 two light single engine Auster aircraft were purchased. The first test flight took place in December 1948. Soon after the first medical flight took place when a small child needed a medical flight from North Arm to Stanley. The racecourse was used as a landing strip.
In 1953 the Austers were replaced with De Havilland Canadian DHC-2 Beaver float planes. These could land at any settlement or island and remained in service until 1979 when Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft took over the service.

Photographic credits: Robert Maddocks, Charles Maddocks
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