Pre-school children visit SPDF air wing


Children from the Trotters Stop Montessori pre-school in Bel Air were treated to the experience of a lifetime when they visited the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces’ air wing at Pointe Larue yesterday

The day trip, which was organised and hosted by members of the Indian navy, allowed the children to get a first-hand look at the coastguard aircraft which keep Seychelles’ territorial waters safe from piracy.

“We received a request from the school to allow the children to come and visit the air wing and show them the aircraft, and we were very happy to oblige and give the children the opportunity to experience this,” said Commander Rajdeep Singh of the Indian navy.

Since February 2011, the Indian government has provided a Dornier DO-228 to help patrol the Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for anti-piracy efforts at the request of President James Michel. The mission has proven very successful at discouraging piracy, as the double-engine Dornier aircraft is equipped with machine guns, loud-hailers, radar equipment and night-vision cameras.
The aircraft is supported by a 30-man Indian navy detachment, but the Indian-funded operation is expected to come to an end by the end of the year after a similar aircraft is handed over as a gift to the Seychelles government from India.

The excited children boarding the plane to get a first-hand look at the aircraft

The eager children were given a tour inside the aircraft and were later treated to a light snack to round off the exciting morning.
“We were thrilled at the opportunity to take the children out on their first field trip,” said the head teacher of Trotters Stop, Poonam Verma.

“The boys talk about planes all the time, and we are glad we were able to give them the chance to have a practical experience of this and feel what it’s like to sit inside a real plane. I’m glad the girls seem to be enjoying the experience equally too!”

Mrs Verma opened the Montessori school in January this year. It caters for pre-primary children from two years old and up.