With the first test flight being held on 19 December 1948, the 75th anniversary of the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) will be commemorated on 19 December 2023.

In a letter to the Crown Agents in 1931 the Colonial Secretary wrote ‘…that this Government has under consideration the matter of purchasing and maintaining an aeroplane primarily for the purpose of conveying passengers and mails between Stanley and the outlying farm settlement of the Colony.’  but in March 1932 he reverted to the Crown Agents saying ‘…owing to the high cost both of acquisition and of maintenance involved it is not possible in present financial circumstances to proceed further in the matter.’  [TRN-AVI-1#2]

In 1938 the Government asked the Falkland Islands Company Ltd to investigate the possibility of using seaplanes in the Islands.  The Colonial Secretary wrote that Governor Henniker-Heaton concurred generally with their views ‘as to the value a flying boat would have for the Colony and considers that the service should form part of a development programme.’  [TRN-AVI-1#4]

By 1939 a report stated that ‘The Government has investigated the cost of establishing a seaplane service in the Colony.  There can be no doubt of the widespread benefits that would result from such an improvement in communications.  The initial cost and maintenance charges would be heavy though negligible in comparison with the cost of construction of metalled roads.’  A handwritten note by Governor Henniker-Heaton on the end of the report stated ‘The above was prepared before the war and the cost will doubtless be much higher after it.  There seems therefore little prospect at present of the Government having sufficient funds to establish a flying service.  The people of the Colony have however recently had an opportunity, through the kindness of the Captain of HMS Exeter, of learning of the great benefit of transport by air in saving life.’  [TRN-AVI-1#4]

The Colonial Annual Report of 1948 reported that ‘Two Auster aeroplanes were bought through Royal Airforce disposals, one as an ambulance, the other for the carriage of mails.  They arrived in the Colony at the end of 1948, being brought out on the mv John Biscoe, and quickly proved their value for hardly had they been assembled and tested before an emergency call was received from North Arm.  The call was promptly answered, and a little girl was flown into Stanley, where she was successfully operated upon; she would otherwise have died.’ [P-COL-2#2: P-FIW-5#52]  The first test flight was held on 19 December 1948.  The first official air mail service was inaugurated on Wednesday 12 January 1949. [P-FIW-6#2]

NB: The insurance files contain passenger lists and destinations.

Aviation photo

Victor Spencer and Anne Cameron with the Auster plane at Port San Carlos – Cameron Family Collection, JCNA


Government Files


TRN-AVA-1-1. Investigation of accidents to aircraft.pdf4.17 MB 

pdfTRN-AVA-1-2. Accident to Beaver aircraft No. VP-FAF 828 and VP-FAL.pdf4.86 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-3. FIGAS Accident to Beaver aircraft VP-FAH No 1129.pdf2.48 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-4. FIGAS. Investigation into accidents.pdf1.9 MB 

pdfTRN-AVA-1-5. Air. Reports and returns. Investigation into accidents. Also. Aircraft accident. Islander - Green Patch 22-12-79.pdf5.95 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-6. FIGAS. Reports. Accident to VP-FAL.pdf3.3 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-7. Aviation. Reports. Accident to VP-FAK.pdf7.18 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-8. Aeronautical. Reports. Investigation into accident of VP-FAP.pdf3.6 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-9. Accidents to VP-FAY Islander and insurance claims arising.pdf2.76 MB

pdfTRN-AVA-1-10. Accident to VP-FAY Islander at Hill Cove.pdf5.82 MB


pdfTRN-AVI-1-1. A J Swinton. Desires to enter into negotiations regarding aerial transportation.pdf266.25 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-2. Proposed purchase of an aeroplane for the purpose of conveying passengers and mails between Stanley and outlying settlements.pdf6.61 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-3. HM Minister Montevideo. Establishment of an airline to South America.pdf610.76 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-4. Seaplane service establishment of.pdf2.43 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-5. HMS Ajax. Mooring of aircraft. Establishment of an advanced air base at Fox Bay East WF.pdf420.42 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-6. Post-war development of civil aviation.pdf2.61 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-7. Disposal of aircraft surplus to military requirements.pdf962.95 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-8. Aeronautical light beacons.pdf135.98 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-9. Colonial civil aviation.pdf318.74 KB 

pdfTRN-AVI-1-10. Development policy local air service applications for CDWF assistance.pdf1.7 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-11. FIGAS - insurance.pdf9.85 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-12. South American regional air navigation meeting.pdf3.14 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-13. Provisional post war development of civil aviation.pdf1.46 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-14. FIGAS Norseman aircraft.pdf8.29 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-1-15. Local air service organisation.pdf8.32 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-1. FIGAS carriage of freight and passengers fares etc.pdf9.25 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-2. FIGAS Forecasting for and communications with aircraft.pdf7.18 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-3. Hire of FIDS aircraft for use in Colony.pdf619.53 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-4. De Havilland Beaver aircraft.pdf5.49 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-5. FIGAS Communications air reports.pdf2.5 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-6. Proposed air service UK to Falklands. FIC chartered flying boat.pdf4.79 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-7. FIGAS - insurance.pdf8.66 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-8. FIGAS Norseman aircraft.pdf1.96 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-9. FIGAS Licences.pdf2.37 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-10. Aircraft slipway and mooring.pdf4.34 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-11. Falkland Islands Government Air Service flying operations.pdf7.04 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-2-12. Publicity Weekly News etc..pdf5.68 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-1. Post war development of civil aviation.pdf3.35 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-2. Local air service registration.pdf1.73 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-3. FIGAS fire in hangar.pdf1.46 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-4. Falkland Islands Government Air Service. Landing facilities.pdf1.62 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-5. FIGAS landing facilities.pdf1.57 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-6. Proposed air service Falklands-Montevideo.pdf278.34 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-7. FIGAS hangar.pdf1.07 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-8. FIGAS insurance.pdf7.75 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-9. FIGAS pilots orders.pdf1.22 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-10. Aviation renewals fund.pdf533.29 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-11. FIGAS - passenger flight insurance.pdf9.29 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-12. Unidentified ships and aircraft in the vicinity of the Falkland Islands.pdf1.47 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-3-13. FIGAS - transport.pdf674.18 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-1. FIGAS - Otter.pdf1.14 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-2. External air service.pdf3.89 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-3. FIGAS flying operations.pdf807.32 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-4. Flights over Falklands.pdf841.97 KB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-5. FIGAS rent of land.pdf1.44 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-6. FIGAS local air service organisation.pdf2.08 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-7. FIGAS passenger flight insurance.pdf4.9 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-8. Establishment of local airfield.pdf8.96 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-9. FIGAS aircraft.pdf3.17 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-10. Establishment of local airfield.pdf4.28 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-4-11. Civil Aviation. External policy.pdf3.59 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-1. Permanent airfield at Cape Pembroke.pdf7.45 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-2. Temporary Amphibian Air Service.pdf14.82 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-3. Establishment of local airfield Cape Pembroke.pdf16.27 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-4. Temporary Amphibian Air Service - Part 1.pdf28.72 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-4. Temporary Amphibian Air Service - Part 2.pdf25.49 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-5. Temporary Airfield Hookers Point.pdf26.14 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-5-7. Permanent airfield at Cape Pembroke.pdf5.29 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-1. Establishment of local airfield. Cape Pembroke..pdf16.14 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-2. Scheduled Air Service Comodoro Rivadavia To Stanley.pdf3.55 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-3. New Airfield Comms Including Radio.pdf1.3 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-4. Local Airfield.pdf18.79 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-5. Replacement Aircraft.pdf29.7 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-6. Aerodrome - Explosives.pdf6.96 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-7. Aerodrome Plans.pdf1.01 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-8. F.I.G.A.S Aircraft Availability.pdf3.57 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-9. Temp Airfield.pdf6.76 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-6-10. Lambair.pdf2.58 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-7-1. FIGAS Beaver Aircraft.pdf12.82 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-7-2. Hanger Slipway.pdf9.9 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-7-3. FIGAS Policy.pdf16.31 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-7-4. Purchase of Islander aircraft.pdf11.84 MB

pdfTRN-AVI-7-5. Report on FIGAS by Group Captain G W Joyce.pdf1.8 MB


 R-TRN-AVI-1-1. Harbour and Aviation Department Annual Review 1954.pdf361.46 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-2. Falkland Islands Report on the Feasibility of constructing an Airfield on the Cape Pembroke Peninsula - R J Wainwright and F J Botham - 1969.pdf6.19 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-3. Addendum to Report on the Feasibility of constructing an Airfield on the Cape Pembroke Peninsula - R J Wainwright and F J Botham - 1970.pdf1.55 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-4. Falkland Islands. Flying boat operation between the Falkland Islands and South America - R J Wainwright - April 1970.pdf1.59 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-5. The Overseas Development Administration Falkland Islands Airport Feasibility Study Report - Rendel Palmer and Triton - 1972.pdf3.18 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-6. The Overseas Development Administration Falkland Islands Airport Feasibility Study Supplementary Report - Rendel Palmer and Triton - 1972.pdf1.02 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-7. Falkland Islands Report on a Study of the Operating Procedures of the Falkland Islands Government Air Service - R L C Branson and A O Jones - 1974.pdf976.55 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-8. Aircraft Accident Report DHC-2 Beaver Floatplane VP-FAC Report on the Accident at Mare Harbour Falkland Islands on 14 October 1976 - G C Wilkinson.pdf946.6 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-9. Report of an Inspection of the New Aerodrome at Port Stanley Falkland Islands 27 May-2 June 1977 - R J Wainwright.pdf600.29 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-10. The Costs of An Islander Service Revised - December 1977.pdf320.86 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-11. Report on Land Aerodromes in the Falkland Islands September 1978 - UK Civil Aviation Authority.pdf972.45 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-12. Report on Falkland Islands Government Air Service by Captain A D Alsop November 1979.pdf1.22 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-13. Falkland Islands Aircraft Accident Report Pilatus Britten-Norman Islander VP-FAY Report on the Accident at Hill Cove Settlement Airstrip Falkland Islands on 12 February 1980 - D A Cooper.pdf778.67 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-14. Aircraft Accident Report EW-B235 Pilatus Britten-Norman Islander VP-FBG at Brookfield Farm Falkland Islands 24 June 1987 - R G Matthew and A N Cable.pdf634.12 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-15. Falkland Islands Government Air Service Survey of Camp Aerodromes May 1988 - McAdam Design.pdf968.4 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-16. Report on Falkland Islands Government Air Service and Civil Aviation Department - PDA Ltd.pdf4.78 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-17. FIGAS Fifty Years On - Vernon Steen - 1998.pdf5.04 MB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-1-18. The use of aircraft in agriculture - C D Kerr - February 1977.pdf1014.14 KB

pdfR-TRN-AVI-2-1. The Overseas Development Administration Falkland Islands Airport Feasibility Study Report 1972.pdf1.72 MB

Maps and Plans

Aviation.pdf7.42 MB


While every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy the Jane Cameron National Archives does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in these records.

Copyright guide

Copies of government records may be used freely for private research and educational purposes.  If material is to be used for commercial publication, exhibition or broadcast the written permission of the Jane Cameron National Archives must first be obtained. Whenever material from the Jane Cameron National Archives is reproduced in any form or in any medium, the user must acknowledge the Jane Cameron National Archives as the source and give all document references.  For non-government records it is your responsibility as the user to ensure that copyright is not infringed and any infringement that does occur is your responsibility.