Indonesia Restarts N219 Aircraft Production To Serve Routes To Isolated Areas

  • Our Bureau
  • 03:21 PM, October 19, 2016
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Indonesia Restarts N219 Aircraft Production To Serve Routes To Isolated Areas
Indonesian N219 aircraft (Image:PT Dirgantara)

The Indonesian National Aviation and Outer Space Institute (LAPAN) said small N219 aircraft would be produced next year to serve routes to isolated areas that could not be served by big aircraft in Indonesia.

"The design has been available. The target is that production of N219, a 19-seat aircraft would begin in 2017," head of LAPAN Prof Thomas Djamaluddin was quoted as saying by Indonesian Aerospace at a seminar, "International Seminar on Aerospace Science and Technology" (ISAST) in the tourist resort of Senggigi, regency of West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

Earlier during the administration of President Soeharto, the country planned to produce 50-seat N250 aircraft, to serve flights to isolated areas.

However, the plan failed to come to reality as a result of the economic crisis in 1998 and the downfall later of the president, Thomas Djamaluddin said here on Tuesday.

In addition, producers of big bodied aircraft refused to support the Indonesian program fearing that small aircraft would be potential competitor for their products, hee said.

LAPAN, therefore, is asked again to design aircraft to serve routes to open isolated areas and the result is the N219 type.

"The plan to produce N219 is facing less competition, although there was still competition from other countries. We, however, are set to start production in 2017 that Indonesia could win the domestic market before competitors are coming," he said.

The N219 aircraft is a product of collaboration, first between LAPAN and PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) and second collaboration between the two agencies was that LAPAN helped in making the design and PT DI, the aircraft maker in Bandung, would do the production.

Djamaluddin said N219 is designed for domestic use but he did not rule out exporting the aircraft to other countries as a number of countries like Laos and African countries have expressed interest in the aircraft after they were given details of the plan by Indonesian embassies.

"In the country, there are already airlines planning to use N219 aircraft to serve flights to isolated areas, which have no airport large enough to accommodate big bodied aircraft," he said. 

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