British manufacturer Britten-Norman has two new BN2B-26 Islanders on its production line for the Falkland Islands Government Aviation Service (FIGAS) bringing the service’s fleet to a total of six Islanders.
The investment, approved by the islands’ Government, will be used to meet the Falklands’ increasing popularity as a tourist destination. Passenger numbers have risen from 5,800 in 2011/12 to 8,800 in 2017/18 – a trend FIGAS expects to continue.
The first of the two new aircraft will be delivered in the summer, with the second scheduled for early 2020. Both Islanders are in the commuter role, equipped with a Garmin G600TXi avionics suite, System 55X autopilot and Spidertracks.
Grahame Stone, Britten-Norman Aircraft Commercial Head, said, “Britten-Norman has long been a part of the Falkland Islands community, supporting both visitors and the local community who rely on the FIGAS service every day.”
FIGAS has operated Islanders since October 1979. The service has gradually evolved from air ambulance and mail service in 1948 to passengers, freight, fishery patrol and scenic flights, with tourists and local passengers making up most of the traffic.
The Islander’s performance as a high-frequency and short-flight platform makes it the ideal aircraft for hopping to almost 30 different airfields located in the Falkland Islands’ East and West mainlands.