Does Maldives have experienced flight crew to operate a maritime patrol aircraft?
According to reports there is ongoing discussions to base an indian maritime patrol aircraft in the Maldives. It is reported to be a Dornier Do228 maritime patrol turbo prop aircraft which would be operated by the Indian Coast Guard crew. There is talks as to whether if we have capable locals in order to operate an aircraft like the Dornier Do 228. The answer is yes.
The Do228 aircraft itself was used as a commercial passenger aircraft for years in the Maldives starting with ‘Air Maldives’ in the late 1980s. National airline ‘Maldivian’ too operated the Do228 until later years when they shifted to only Dash-8 fleet for the operation.
During the many years their were many local pilots, engineers and etc who were professionally trained to operate and maintain these aircraft and have been doing so for years until the aircraft eventually left the fleet. Even in present day there are senior experienced crews, instructors and examiners on all type of aircraft in operation in the Maldives from the seaplane Twin Otters to the Airbus A321. Maldives today lacks helicopter licensed pilots however to operate an aircraft like the Do228; these experienced crews can in fact be considered over qualified.
If the MNDF Air Wing is planing to develop locals to operate and maintain this type of an aircraft; finding experienced locals should be of a lesser concern. Over the years and even today airline pilots from domestic airlines carry out search and rescue flights and medivac flights on the Twin Otters and the Dash-8s.