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Jakarta Post

North Kalimantan eyes N219 airplanes to reach remote areas

  • Arya Dipa

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Sat, January 13, 2018   /   06:43 pm
North Kalimantan eyes N219 airplanes to reach remote areas An N219 plane piloted by Captain Esther Gayatri takes off for its flight test from Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung on Aug. 17, 2017. (JP/Arya Dipa)

North Kalimantan Governor Irianto Lambrie visited on Friday PT Dirgantara Indonesia’s (DI) aircraft manufacturing factory in Bandung, West Java, as he mulls over plans to purchase twin-turboprop N219 Nurtanio aircraft to boost air connectivity in the province.

“Seventy percent of the [province] is forest area, which takes a long time to reach by land. If we cross the river [to get there], it could take days,” Lambrie said.

The North Kalimantan administration has plans to use the N219 planes for semi-commercial flights, Lambrie said, adding that they would be operated by a provincial-owned enterprise in cooperation with a private airline.

"The plan is to expand our public services, including health services; the planes could also serve as an ambulance,” he said. “They could also be used as cargo and passenger planes for remote areas.”

The 19-seat N219 made its maiden flight test on Aug. 17 last year, marking the revival of Indonesia's aviation industry following the N250’s commercial failure two decades ago.

However, before entering the production stage, the N219 must undergo a series of additional tests to get a Type Certificate (TC).

DI president director Elfien Goentoro welcomed the governor’s plan, saying that DI is targeting to get its planes certified this year.

"There is also a type [of aircraft] that has foldable seats. It could serve as a cargo plane with a capacity of carrying up to 2.3 tons,” Elfien added. (nmn/ipa)