Bhubaneswar:5/3/23: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today unveiled the iconic Dakota aircraft of legendary Biju Patnaik for public viewing at the 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,” a release by the Commerce and Transport department
The iconic Dakota (DC-3) Aircraft (VT-AUI) belongs to erstwhile Kalinga Airlines was founded by Biju Patnaik, Ex-Chief Minister of Odisha. It is said that the airlines operated nearly a dozen Dakotas and Biju babu was its Chief Pilot. This Aircraft was used by him 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.
“Since, this aircraft is closely associated with Biju Patnaik, it will resemble Odisha’s rich aviation history which would be a befitting tribute to one of the most iconic personality of Odisha. People will see this Dakota Aircraft as a memento of Late Biju Patnaik’s bravery and heroics.
With the sincere efforts of Government of Odisha, the Dakota Aircraft was shifted from NSCBI Airport, Kolkata to Bhubaneswar on 18.01.2023 by road. The display of this Aircraft will inspire the people of Odisha and propel them to Dream Big.