The President of Guyana completed a week tour to India early January 2023. Among other topics discussed, President Mohamed Irfaan Ali expressed his interest in buying two Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, HAL Dornier 228 for the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) – Air Corps.
During a visit to the Transport Aircraft Division in Kanpur, the President was shown a HAL-produced Dornier 228 operated by the Indian Coast Guard (serial CG767) and had the opportunity to talk to crew and staff of the Indian Coast Guard.
The versatile Dornier 228 would mean a welcome addition to the cash strapped GDF-Air Corps. The Dornier 228 can be used for maritime patrol duties to protect Guyanese maritime interests, which have significantly increased since the fairly recent discovery of huge oil fields off Guyana’s coast. Exploration of these fields could give an unprecedented boost to Guyana’s economy.
The GDF currently operates a handful of aircraft, the most recent additions are two Short SC.7 Skyvans, delivered in 2019, and two British made Britten Norman BN-2 Islanders acquired from Brazil, one of which, 8R-GKR has been grounded indefinitely already. Two Bell 206s are awaiting spare parts at the Air Corps main base of Tehmeri, whilst a recently acquired Bell 412EPi is flown frequently. Thus, the arrival of two Dornier 228s from India would give a welcome boost in capabilities of the Air Corps.
The Air Corps operates is aircraft under civil rules and regulations, rather than military as in most other countries. This would require a civil certification for the HAL built Dornier 228s.