MNDF pilots receive green light to operate Dornier aircraft

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) pilots have received the green light to operate the India-gifted Dornier aircraft for the first time.

The two pilots who were given the authority to fly the aircraft were trained by the Indian Armed Forces. On Tuesday, they were awarded the CG Aviation Squad badge by Chief of Defense Force Major General Abdulla Shamaal.

Shamaal described MNDF pilots taking to the skies for the first time in the Military Dornier Aircraft as a historic moment. He thanked the Indian Arm Forces for training Maldivian pilots in such useful and versatile aerial platforms.

MNDF came to an agreement with India under a Letter of Exchange in 2019, which allows Maldivian pilots to operate the aircraft. Five individuals were trained as pilots, out of which four completed the Dornier flying course. The two pilots who received the badge on Tuesday have now joined the service.

The Dornier aircraft were gifted to the Maldives by India in 2020 and were deployed to HDh. Hanimaadhoo. They were previously operated by Indian military personnel. The aircraft were used for surveillance over the Maldives' exclusive economic zone and different coast guard operations.