Kiwi takes over Falkland Islands Air service

01:43, Jan 31 2009

New Zealander Shaun Minto has taken over Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS).

Mr Minto, 43, of Tauranga, has been involved in the aviation industry since 1987, worked with a succession of aero clubs in the Waikato, at Waitemata, and Palmerston North, before joining Eagle Air Ltd in 1991.

He is now general manager of FIGAS, at Port Stanley, which operates non-scheduled passenger services throughout the Falklands and aerial surveillance of the economic exclusion zone surrounding the islands.

It flies five ageing Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft delivering mail, vital goods, and people to remote settlements. Mr Minto, will be joined in April by his wife Rosemary and young son Conor, 2, the MercoPress news agency reported today.

Mr Minto was born and educated in New Zealand, but his mother is a Falkland Islander who emigrated to New Zealand in 1962.

"It is wonderful to have the opportunity to live and work in the country that my parents still call `home'," he told the agency.