Islanders’ Islanders

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Chris Kjelgaard looks at how FIGAS, the government-owned airline of the Falkland Islands, is updating its fleet to cope with increasing traff c demand driven by tourism

FALKLAND ISLANDS GOVERNMENT AIR SERVICE

All images Robin Goodwin

Celebrating its 70th birthday this year, Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) has long provided vital lifeline air services throughout the Falklands archipelago, which lies some 300 miles off the southeast coast of South America. Formed in 1948 with two single-engine Auster Mk5s specifically to help reduce the isolation of people living in remote areas of the Falklands – which are made up of two large islands, East and West Falkland, and 776 smaller islands – FIGAS flew its first passenger flight, which was also its first air ambulance flight, that December. FIGAS performed that historic flight to carry from the North Arm settlement on East Falkland to Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands and the territory’s largest community, a small child who required urgent medical attention.

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