Naveen Patnaik opens Biju Patnaik’s Dakota aircraft for public view

Bhubaneswar : On the occasion of the birth anniversary of his father and freedom fighter Biju Patnaik, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday opened Dakota aircraft for public view.
The iconic Dakota (DC-3) aircraft (VT-AUI) was brought from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata to Bhubaneswar on January 18, 2023.

After some refurbishing works, the aircraft has been installed here at Bhubaneswar airport for public display. “Iconic #Dakota aircraft resembles his bravery & heroics.

Generations to come will be inspired by the bravery and selfless service of #BijuBabu,” CM Patnaik said in a tweet. The aircraft belongs to erstwhile Kalinga Airlines, which was founded by Biju Patnaik.

The airline operated nearly a dozen Dakotas and Late Patnaik was its chief pilot. In a statement, the state government said Dakota aircraft was used by Biju Patnaik to rescue former Indonesian Vice-President Md. Hatta and former Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir.

For his effort, late Biju Patnaik was given an honorary citizenship of Indonesia and awarded the title of “Bhumi Putra” by the Indonesian Government, a recognition rarely granted to a foreigner.

People will see this Dakota aircraft as a memento of Late Biju Patnaik’s bravery and heroics. The display of this aircraft will inspire the people of Odisha and propel them to dream big, the government said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has launched non-schedule flight operation from Bhubaneswar to Rangeilunda (Berhampur) airstrip on Sunday. With the beginning of the state-sponsored flight operation, the long-standing demand for flight operation to Rangeilunda has been fulfilled.

Earlier, Rangeilunda Airstrip was used only on handful occasions for flight operations during the arrival of dignitaries. India One Air has started flight operation in the Bhubaneswar-Rangeilunda route using a nine seater small aircraft.

An airport at Rangeilunda to connect the capital city was a much-needed aspiration of the local community to accelerate economic activity in the region.

Berhampur is considered as a commercial hub of Southern Odisha which has seen a rapid growth in its population and industry. The flight operation on this route will boost the industry and tourism sector, officials said.



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