HomeIndian Air ForceAir Force Station Tambaram’s Runway to get Extension

Air Force Station Tambaram’s Runway to get Extension


Air Force Station Tambaram, situated near Chennai, has set its sights on a significant upgrade – extending its runway to accommodate fighter planes. Currently, the station serves as a training hub for flying instructors, equipped with two runways suitable for small training planes. However, the station has grander aspirations, envisioning a runway extension that would enable it to operate fighter aircraft like Sukhoi, Rafale, and MiGs.

The impetus behind this project is the need for a longer runway, essential for the safe landing and take-off of advanced fighter planes. The current east-west runway (12/30) requires an extension of approximately 1,000 feet to meet the necessary runway length of around 7,000 feet for fighter aircraft. This extension would transform the Air Force Station Tambaram into a fully operational facility, capable of handling fighter planes.

The idea to extend the runway was initially proposed in 2008, with air force officials approaching the state government for the acquisition of about 56 acres of land. Importantly, the land earmarked for the runway extension is devoid of residential areas, ensuring minimal disruption to local communities.

Air Commodore Ratish Kumar, the air officer commanding of Air Force Station Tambaram, revealed that negotiations have been ongoing since 2008 and that the station would require approximately 56 acres of land for the extension. With an extended runway, the station’s potential would soar. It could not only accommodate fighter planes but also support humanitarian missions, as it did during the Chennai floods in 2015.

The Air Force Station currently boasts a fleet that includes HAL-made Kiran MK II, Pilatus PC-7 MK II, and Chetak helicopters. Looking ahead, there are plans to upgrade the facilities, with the HAL-manufactured HTT-40 slated to become the station’s basic trainer aircraft, contributing to India’s defense indigenization efforts.

In a significant development, Air Force Station Tambaram is gearing up to train Agniveervaya airmen, a project set to commence in December. Aiming to train 1,620 Agniveervayu personnel, including 240 women, the station is adapting its infrastructure to create a conducive environment for female trainees. This move aligns with the evolving landscape of the Indian Air Force, which has long inducted women as officers and is now actively preparing to include them in a wider range of roles.

AFI



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