Jakarta. Indonesia's Transportation Ministry is currently in talks with the Mexican government to tie up a partnership in the aviation sector, which may include opportunities to sell the former's N219 Nurtanio, a local aircraft produced by state-owned aerospace company Dirgantara Indonesia.
The ministry's civil aviation director Agus Santoso has been in Mexico since Friday (10/11) for the sixth bilateral meeting between Indonesia and Mexico which was scheduled to end on Sunday.
The partnership is also expected to include deals in aviation service promotion and an agreement in airworthiness system.
"Mexico is an important partner in aviation for Indonesia. An airworthiness agreement between us will ensure better relations in the future," Agus said in a press release on Saturday.
A formal bilateral partnership will make it easier for Indonesia to sell Nurtanio to Mexico and its neighbors.
Promotora Aerospacial El Paso, a partner of Mexican regional government Chihuahua, is reportedly interested in the aircraft.
"We've got opportunities to sell the N219 to Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. An airworthiness agreement will make everything go smoother," he said.
"Having one will allow Indonesian aircraft to be sold to and used in Mexico," Agus said.
The name Nurtanio was given by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to pay tribute to the country's first aircraft maker, Nurtanio Pringgoadisuryo.
The 19-seater propeller plane is able to land on short runways and designed for operations in remote areas with minimum facilities.
"The Nurtanio loves short runways. It's just the answer for companies looking for small, compact aircraft," Agus said.
The N219 uses two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-52 turboprop engines and can be converted to transport cargo or perform medical evacuations.