Was formed in 1971 to operate passenger and cargo charter flights from Southend Airport. The airline was a subsidiary of Roger Byron-Collins' property company Macedonian Securities whose offices were located in Capital House, Craven Road, London, W2.
The head office of Macedonian Aviation was at Southend Airport and the managing director was Roger Byron-Collins and the Chief Pilot/General Manager was Harry Chang. Their fleet comprised Five Douglas Dakota DC-3 and one De Havilland DH104 Dove aircraft.
The new airline was initially based at Luton airport in 1971 operating under McAlpine Aviation's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) with a DH Dove G-APZU acquired from Lulsgate Air Services at Bristol airport. Macedonian then secured their own AOC when their Managing Director Roger Byron-Collins went before the Civil Aviation Authority in 1972. The then Chairman Baron Boyd-Carpenter who chaired the application enquired as to the age of the applicant, Roger Byron-Collins who replied he was 25 years of age to which the Chairman of the CAA commented that he was one of the youngest applicants in British aviation history to be awarded an AOC. In July 1972 they purchased from British Aircraft Corporation their Filton based Dakota DC3 G-AMPO. It immediately went into operation after a change of livery at Leavesden by flying to Beirut Lebanon in September 1972.
Macedonian's CEO and a group of 25 British guests attending a wedding at the Anglican church and the St George Hotel Beirut were caught up in the aftermath of the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics and had to be rescued under fire from Beirut airport. Escorted by Israeli fighter aircraft the Dakota G-AMPO and its passengers escaped to Nicosia Cyprus and the wedding reception continued at the Dome Hotel Kyrenia.
The first commercial flights started with a fanfare when Dove G-APZU was utilised between the 6th and 12th November 1972 when Micheal Jackson and the Jackson 5 were flown between their concerts in Paris, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Wembley. The following week the aircraft was chartered by Donny Osmond and the Osmonds for use in their UK tour. DC3 Dakota operations started on November 5, with a passenger flight by the Dakota between Southend to Rotterdam. Freight charters were also undertaken, amongst which was a series of movements to Brussels and Saarbrücken carrying car parts for the Ford Motor Company.
HRH Prince Philip, visits: BBC Air, Managing Director: Mr. Roger Byron- Collins
In 1995 the Group purchased the former Queens Flight de Havilland Dove DH104 G-HBBC (VP961) being the personal aircraft of HRH Prince Philip. This was the aircraft in which HRH learnt to fly and was flown by him as first officer on 67 occasions. BBC Air was formed to run it's fleet which together with the support aircraft, an ex Royal Navy Sea Devon G-RNAS from RNAS Yeovilton. These were initially based at Bristol Filton and then Compton Abbas Dorset. In 2000 the Group acquired 4 Cessna aircraft which were leased to Compton Abbas Flying Club for training purposes. The Dove G-HBBC over a 10 year period was subject to a £300,000 restoration making it the best presented Dove in the world. Roger Byron-Collins and the chief pilot Clive Hughes took the aircraft to the 32 Royal Squadron at RAF Northolt to reintroduce Prince Philip to his former aircraft and he commented on it's 'as new' condition.
DH 104 Dove 6
DH 104 Dove G-HBBC
DH 104 Sea Devon G-RNAS
Intra Airways 11/12.73
Our great friend since the 70's: Sir Frederick (Freddy) Ballantyne who is the Governor General of St Vincent and the Grenadines. He recently joined us for a well deserved break in Jersey.
Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne is the Governor-General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He has been in this office since 2nd September 2002, and was knighted in November. He replaced Monica Dacon who had been interim Governor General after the death of Sir Charles Antrobus.
The Governor General, though the Queen’s representative, in the exercise of his executive powers, is required to act on the advice of the Prime Minister. He, however, holds office at Her Majesty’s pleasure. While the Governor General is seen as part of Parliament his presence is only there when he is invited though he is always informed of what takes place there. However, in order that any laws may be regarded as such it must receive the assent of the Governor General. He must also sign the Writs for the proroguing, dissolution or commencement of a new session of Parliament.
Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne: