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Falkland Islands

Volume 79: debated on Friday 24 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement about his recent visit to the Falkland Islands.

My right hon. Friend visited the Falkland Islands in order to attend the opening of Mount Pleasant airport. His programme also included meeting the civil and military commissioners, local councillors and other Falkland Islanders, and visiting some of the military units.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Falkland Islands airport will be open to civil aircraft; if any Latin American countries have indicated an interest in opening up civil airline services between there and the Falklands; and if he will make a statement.

To enable the remaining construction work to be completed as rapidly as possible between now and early 1986 when the airport becomes fully operational, military and civil flying from Mount Pleasant airport will be limited for that period to Ministry of Defence wide-bodied aircraft carrying service personnel, civil passengers and priority freight, locally-based light aircraft, and possibly the occasional civil charter flight. From early 1986 there will no longer need to be any limitations on civil flights. No approaches to operate civil air line services to the Falklands have been made by any Latin American country to date.