Odisha seeks AAI’s NOC for site to display Dakota Aircraft | Bhubaneswar News – Times of India

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Thursday said they have identified nearly 2.5 acre land at the Biju Patnaik International (BPI) Airport here to place the iconic Dakota Aircraft of former chief minister Biju Patnaik and sought a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the selected site.
The state commerce and transport department has written to the Ministry of Civil Aviation to ask the AAI to issue the NOC for the site and provide in-principle clearance to position the Dakota Aircraft on the selected land, which is located near the entry point of the Biju Patnaik International Airport and close to the Airport police station and administrative building of the BPI Airport director.
The old and abandoned Dakota DC-3 Aircraft bearing registration No. W-AUl belonged to erstwhile Kalinga Airlines, which was founded by former chief minister Biju Patnaik. The Aircraft has been lying in the remote part of the operational area of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata. Patnaik had used the Aircraft to rescue the former Indonesian Vice President Md. Hatta and former Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir. Late Biju Patnaik was awarded the title of ‘Bhumi Putra’ by the Indonesian government for his valour.
“In some recent meetings, it was already decided to shift the Dakota Aircraft to Bhubaneswar and display it at a prominent location nearby Biju Patnaik International Airport as a befitting tribute to the legendary late Biju Patnaik. During a joint visit in February this year by the state government and AAI officials to the BPI Airport, a site measuring 2.5 acres of the AAI was found suitable for positioning of the Dakota Aircraft,” read state commerce and transport secretary Madhu Sudan Padhi’s letter to the civil aviation ministry’s secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola on July 8.
Padhi requested Kharola to impress upon the AAI headquarter in Delhi for issuance of the NOC and provide clearance to position the Dakota Aircraft on the selected site.
On December 13, 2017, the AAI had written to the state government and given the proposal to procure the Aircraft from Kolkata. The AAI had also offered all assistance and support to the government in procuring the Aircraft. The state government wrote to the AAI on January 22, 2020, expressing its willingness to bring the Aircraft to Bhubaneswar and display it near Biju Patnaik’s statue at the BPI Airport.

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