Naveen Unveils Dakota Aircraft

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today unveiled the legendary DAKOTA (DC-3) VT-AUI aircraft at Bhubaneswar Airport here on the occasion of the late statesman’s birth anniversary.

“It is a matter of pride for the Odisha government to unveil the Dakota DC-3 aircraft which was relocated from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata to Biju Patnaik International Airport. Public display of the aircraft will serve as an embodiment of the former Chief Minister’s courage and adventurism, and inspire people of Odisha to dream big,” stated a release by the Commerce and Transport department.

The (DC-3) aircraft bearing registration number VT-AUI, belonging to the erstwhile Kalinga Airlines founded by the legendary leader and former chief minister Biju Patnaik. The aircraft has been brought back to Odisha as it has huge historical significance and is a symbol of the Odia pride.

On January 18, the aircraft had reached Odisha from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. Biju Patnaik had used a Dakota aircraft to rescue erstwhile Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir in 1947. For his daredevilry, the Indonesian government had twice decorated Biju Patnaik with Bhumiputra – the highest civilian award of the country.

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