FALKLAND Islands Member of Legislative assembly Mike Summers apologised on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the disruption that the flight diversion from Ascension Island had caused, but said he knew they were working hard to ensure proper arrangements were in place for the continuation of the air bridge with the UK.
Speaking at this week's meeting of Legislative Assembly he said it would continue to run on a twice weekly basis but with a different stopover.
“For those who heard that the Ascension runway may be patched within a couple of weeks, sorry not true, we all wish, but it is going to be closed for a considerable period of time."
He said work would continue with Brigadier Bennett and the MoD to ensure the air bridge provided the level of support needed for Islanders to access the UK .
On the subject of an additional flight MLA Summers noted that it was six months since the signature of the joint statement in Buenos Aires by the UK Minister and Argentine Foreign Minister and none of the issues in respect of the Falklands had been honoured by the Argentine Government.
But, he said, the planning for a second flight will continue. “We will continue to push to get the Argentine Government to honour the commitments it made at ministerial level, that they would not interfere with a flight to Brazil or another South American country.”
MLA Summers said that for the moment it looked like they were not able to deliver on that, “so we will have to go back and look at some of the other options available.
“They may be less palatable, more difficult to plan and more costly, but we do need additional air capacity to the Falklands so we have to carry on and do that work,” he said.
Current RAF air bridge flights to and from the Falklands are programmed to stop over for refueling at one of several countries in West Africa.