In 2014, the PNGDF Casa P2-502 was due for a Major Calendar Servicing in Bandung, Indonesia. On completion of the servicing, two major issues prevented the timely return of the engine.
Firstly, due to the lack of funds available, and secondly, proper paperwork for the custom declaration was not completed with PNG Customs.
The situation remained for the last 7 years until earlier this year when the Indonesian Military and Government stepped in to assist with the return of the engine.
Present at the handover ceremony was the Prime Minister James Marape, Indonesian Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency Andriana Supandy, Deputy Chief of PNGDF, Commodore Philip Polewara and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Soroi Eoe among other VIPs.
Ambassador Supandy said the Indonesian Government recognized that the aircraft is a very important instrument for PNGDF and, “As a direct neighbor and a good friend, it is a privilege for Indonesia to assist and facilitate the effort to bring this aircraft engine back to the PNG people.”
He added, “No matter how big or small this sincere contribution, Indonesia as the close neighbour is committed to assisting PNG within our capacity, particularly in the important sectors that will provide a direct benefit for our brothers and sisters.”
Prime Minister Marape, thanked the Indonesian Government and Armed Forces for this gesture.
In acknowledging Lieutenant General Joni Supriyanto and his crew from the Indonesian Armed Forces for having made the trip to handover the engine, the Prime Minister said, “We do acknowledge your coming across, but more importantly, bringing to us the engine of our Casa and to ensure that our Casa is no longer laying in idle but is back in our air spaces in its operation.”
He highlighted the strategic location of PNG and acknowledged that the country has an important part to play in the Indo-Pacific in ensuring that it makes contributions towards peace and harmony in the region while also keeping its borders safe.
The Prime Minister also thanked the men and women of the PNGDF Air Transport Wing saying, “You’ve shown that you could stand the test of time despite no plane in the air, despite no helicopter functional, you were able to wear your uniform and your badges with total pride and dignity and serve your country.”
At the event, Ambassador Supandy reiterated his government’s commitment to enhance the bilateral relations between Indonesia and the PNG Government.