Jokowi commends PT DI for building N219 aircraft independently

Jokowi commends PT DI for building N219 aircraft independently

Illustration of N219 commuter aeroplane in it's flight. The N219 will fly for series of flight test in April 2016. (PT Dirgantara Indonesia)

Bandung, West Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said the N219 national transport airplane prototype, displayed in the hangar of state-owned aircraft maker, PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday, has been built independently in Indonesia.

"I welcome the development of the N219 aircraft by the aviation industry at home. N219 is born in Indonesia for Indonesia," Jokowi said in his written address, read out by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan, at the first display of the aeroplane's prototype. 

The N219 will head to head with some type in its class, namely Canadian DHC6 Twin Otter and formerly Spanish built CASA C-212 Aviocar.   

Initially, the event was expected to be attended by Jokowi, who was planned to give the aircraft a name. But due to certain reasons, he asked Pandjaitan to represent him at the historic event for the Indonesian national aviation industry.

In his written address, Jokowi expressed hope that the national aircraft transport industry will expedite connectivity among remote areas and will be able to compete and penetrate the world market. He said the new aircraft is expected to speed up connectivity in the archipelago. 

The aeroplane will also reinforce the country's vision in the face of aviation competition.

The multi-function N219 plane, which has been built indigenously, has been adjusted to counter the conditions of airports in the eastern regions of Indonesia. It is hoped to link isolated areas in Indonesia efficiently and at a competitive price.

Therefore, the President called on all parties to extend their support to the country's N219 aircraft. The government and PT DI continue to gather data and coordinate in order to boost PTDI to continue producing good and secure aircraft.

On the occasion, PT DI also displayed other products, namely the CN-235, N250 and N212 aircraft.

The rollout of the N219 indicated that the design and structure of the prototype of the plane has been finished and is ready to be introduced to the public.

The N219 is a 19-seat capacity passenger aircraft. The plane was built following cooperation between PTDI and the National Aviation and Space Agency (LAPAN).

LAPAN Head, Prof Dr Thomas Djamaluddin, said the maiden display and the naming of the plane has two main objectives. It aims to build independence in the national aviation industry and become part of the awakening of the national aviation industry after Indonesia launched its N250 aircraft in 1995. It also marks the beginning of a national awakening.

Thomas explained that the N219 aircraft has been built by strong human resources, who have mastered aviation technology, beginning from design, certification process to production.

"The main objective is to build independence in the development of the aviation industry," he said.

The aeroplane is categorically small, but it has a simple design and low complexity. The N219 can serve a lesson for Lapan and PT DI engineers so that they are able to produce aircraft build in Indonesia.

"The plane is designed in accordance with the conditions of isolated areas in Indonesia," Djamaluddin said.

The N219 can land on a short runway and fly over hilly topographic conditions, such as those found in Medan, North Sumatra, and Papua. A plane of this type can deal with such conditions, he added.

He also pointed out that it is able to take off from a 800-meter runway and maneuver hilly areas.

The design for the aircraft has been solely produced by Indonesian engineers.