The Falkland Islands government air service, FIGAS, has incorporated on lease a Britten-Norman Islander aircraft for the inter-islands air service during the current summer season. Likewise another new aircraft has been ordered, scheduled to be delivered next July, as well as four new engines for the FIGAS fleet of Briten-Norman Islanders.
Last June one of FIGAS aircraft suffered a minor landing incident in Beaver island.
The official release states that in order to ensure sufficient capacity for the peak of the 2019 summer season, FIGAS leased an aircraft from Britten Norman Ltd. This aircraft was originally scheduled to arrive in November 2018 for a six month deployment, however unfortunately the aircraft met with a series of delays outside of our control but is due to in the Islands shortly.
On arrival the newly leased aircraft – registration G-BCEN – will require 100 hours inspection taking approximately two days and be fitted with high flotation tyres before it begins carrying passengers. The aircraft will return to the UK in April.
The addition of this aircraft, together with the recent major avionics modifications to planes VP-FBD, VP-FBO and VP-FBR, means FIGAS will have a full fleet in place to meet demand during the last three months of the season. Aside from routine maintenance there will be four passenger aircraft available with the fishery patrol aircraft as a reserve aircraft.
VP-FBN is nearing a 500 hours inspection which will take approximately two weeks.
An additional four new engines have been ordered for the fleet as well as a new Islander. The new plane is currently on the production line but we hope it will be in the Islands no later than July 2019.
MLA Barry Elsby said: “We know how much the local community and visitors to the Falkland Islands rely on the FIGAS service. We have invested heavily in new engines and new equipment in order to ensure that we are able to meet the demands of the current season. The purchase of a new Islander was essential if we are to meet the increased demand when the new service starts from Sao Paulo. The FIGAS team, be they our engineers, our pilots, our operations and airport staff have worked extremely hard to ensure that FIGAS can deliver the high quality, safe and reliable service we expect.”