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Resuming The N219A Project: First Flight Planned in August 2024

Yulian Ardiansyah - : Feb 22, 2024 - : 5:30 pm

In Indonesia, a vast archipelago of over 17,000 islands spanning three time zones, the potential of amphibious aviation remains largely untapped. Despite its inherent advantage as a maritime nation, Indonesia’s development focus has predominantly been on land-based infrastructure, sidelining the significant role amphibious planes could play in enhancing connectivity across the scattered islands.

This oversight is particularly striking considering the immense benefits that could be gathered from integrating amphibious aviation into the nation’s transportation framework, especially in remote and underdeveloped regions where traditional infrastructure is lacking.

The introduction of the N219 project by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), which also resulted in plans to develop it into a new N219A (for Amphibious) version, appeared to hold significant promise for the realization of widespread deployment and adoption of amphibious aircraft and seaplane operations. However, despite many years having passed, the promised inaugural flight of the N219A has yet to materialize. 

GBP Correspondent, Yulian Ardiansyah, recently sat down with Putri Ramadhani, Vice President of Marketing at PTDI, to delve into the reasons behind the delay and explore the potential for positive changes on the horizon.

Regarding the development of the N219A, why has it taken so long?

Its development has been ongoing since the N219, which obtained certification in 2020 and then continued with the amphibious version funded by LAPAN (National Institute of Aeronautics and Space). However, after a change where LAPAN was merged into BRIN (National Research and Innovation Agency), its funding was halted in 2021.

What happened afterward?

During the G20 event in 2022, Bappenas (Ministry of National Development Planning) welcomed PTDI’s intention to continue the N219A project. The urgency was indeed felt by the government, leading to the decision to resume the project with funding from Bappenas.

The development contract will be signed this year with the first flight scheduled for August 2024. This will be followed by obtaining national certification in 2025, with market entry projected for 2026.

So, in essence, the main challenge faced by PTDI is…?

It’s primarily related to state funding, considering PTDI is a state-owned enterprise. Bappenas acknowledges that this aircraft is highly needed in Indonesia, especially since it would be more efficient in reaching remote areas without airstrips as long as there are adequate water areas. This is particularly crucial as Bappenas has an economic transformation program with its pilot project in the Riau Islands Province.

Considering that the province consists of thousands of islands with only a dozen airstrips, previously, inter-island travel could take over a day by boat, especially during high waves.

Why is Indonesia only targeting 54 units of N219A when the actual need is far greater?

The calculation of 54 units represents a lower limit because the real need is indeed much higher. This is also considering the production capacity of N219 and N219A by PTDI itself, which will be gradually increased from two to twelve units per year starting in 2026.

Is PTDI also involved in developing tourism infrastructure with N219A?

We are mainly focused on developing the aircraft itself, while infrastructure development is progressing in parallel and is being undertaken by regional governments, Bappenas, and the Ministry of Transportation. Regarding site surveys, PTDI has already conducted them with Bappenas in Natuna as a pilot project, which will be developed further, although still with the regional government as the main component.


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