The recent statement entitled ‘Progress made towards establishing a second commercial Falkland Islands air link’ released by the Falkland Islands Government has met with a mixed reception in the Islands. While some have expressed favor others have reservations and questions.
This letter is in response to the press release from Falkland Islands Governement (FIG) dated February 16, 2018 referring to the second commercial flight to and from South America.
I personally find no comfort in this press release as it once again refers to a monthly stop in Argentina. Any further flight connections with Argentina should be avoided at all costs until they show respect to the inhabitants of the Falklands and drop their claim to our Islands. Another memorandum of understanding similar to the 1999 agreement would not be worth the paper it is written on as we know they are not capable of keeping to their word.
For any proposed second flight it is essential that it does not undermine the existing LATAM flights from Chile or the MOD flights from Brize Norton.
The Argentine Government are desperate to see that a second flight involves them and the complicity in this respect by the FCO and the previous MLAs shows clearly that they cannot be trusted.
During the election campaign of 2017 I was under the impression that some of the new MLAs would not welcome any further flight connections with Argentina.
Yet this press release certainly gives the impression that all MLAs have endorsed it and some of them have changed their position on this very sensitive issue.
In a recent newsletter from the MLAs dated December 2017 one of the principal points made was that they want to “give people every opportunity to participate in political life and have their say on developments across our portfolios”.
With this in mind I call upon the MLAs to hold a public meeting on Monday 5th March 2018 to discuss this press release and its consequences. I also ask, as I did in September 2016, that FIG hold a referendum to see if the electorate are in favor of the monthly stopover in Argentina.
Finally I would also ask MLAs to take a fresh approach when people write to the Penguin News with their views and comments. It should come as no surprise to know that there is a wealth of knowledge in the Islands that can be channeled for the good of the nation.
A prime example is a recent letter from Gerald Cheek (Penguin News 12th Jan) regarding the second flight. Not one MLA has made contact with him or even went out of their way to seek further clarification on what he had to say.
So much for engaging with the people you are meant to represent. I will look forward to receiving a response from our elected MLAs.
David Eynon, Stanley