|Main Role:||Maritime chemical pollution control|
|Parent Unit:||HMCG HQ|
On 4 May 1982 Southend-based crop-spraying and charter operator Harvestair (also known as Harvest Air) was awarded an oil pollution control and spraying contract for the Department of Trade. As a result, the Marine Control Unit was formed and for this purpose, several BN-2A Islanders were obtained, specially converted for this role and based at Exeter, Prestwick and Kinloss. Two Douglas Dakotas were also acquired and adapted as heavy spray tankers. Following the untimely death of the company’s founder and MD, Nigel Brendish, in a light aircraft accident during September 1987 the company went into liquidation and the DoT contract was transferred to Air Atlantique in the following month.
Air Atlantique initially used three BN-2A Islanders and a couple of Dakotas for the pollution control task, but as more Dakotas were acquired, the Islanders were assigned to other duties.
On 20 July 2000 a new 10-year pollution control contract was placed with Air Atlantique, for both air surveillance and spraying reponse aircraft. The contract required the provision of a new Cessna 406 surveillance aircraft equipped with SLAR, 2 Lockheed L-188 Electra spraying aircraft able to respond within 4 hours of a pollution report, and a Cessna 406 to be based at Inverness modified for spraying work.
Compared to the Dakotas, the bigger and faster Electras were able to deliver more chemicals to the required location sooner. The spray attachment for the Electras was specially designed by Air Atlantique and can fitted or removed relatively quickly – allowing the aircraft to fly normal revenue-earning cargo charter contracts when not required for pollution control. Air Atlantique (Atlantic Aviation Ltd) is now known as Reconnaissance Ventures Ltd (RVL).
|BN-2A Islander||5||mid 1982 – Oct 1987||G-BJWM, BJWN, BJWP (Harvestair)|
|Douglas DC-3 Dakota||2||1982 – Oct 1987||G-AMPZ, AMYJ (Harvestair)|
|BN-2A Islander||3||Oct 1987 – 1990||G-AXZK, BCEN, BNXA (Air Atlantique)|
|Douglas DC-3 Dakota||7||Oct 1987 – 2000||G-AMPO (Air Atlantique)|
|Lockheed L-188 Electra||2||2000 – Present||G-LOFE (Atlantic Air Transport)|
|Cessna F406 Caravan II||1||2000 – Present||G-LEAF? (Atlantic Air Transport)|
|Southend Airport, Essex||mid 1982 – Oct 1987|
|Coventry Airport, Warks.||Oct 1987 – Present|
None at present.
- Aviation News September 2003
To be added.