Cengiz Topel Naval Air Station
|Cengiz Topel Airport
Cengiz Topel Havalimanı
|IATA: KCO – ICAO: LTBQ
|Airport type||military and public|
|Location||Köseköy, Kocaeli Province|
|Elevation AMSL||182 ft / 55 m|
|Source: World Aero Data|
Cengiz Topel Naval Air Station (Turkish: Cengiz Topel Deniz Hava Üssü), aka Topel Airport or formerly Cengiz Topel Air Base, (IATA: KCO, ICAO: LTBQ) is a Turkish Navy air station located east of İzmit in Kocaeli Province, Turkey. The airport is in joint use for military and civil. Restructured in 1976, it hosts the Turkish Naval Aviation Command with two flying units, the 301st Squadron of fixed-wing aircraft and the 351st Squadron of rotorcrafts.
The facility, formerly a base of the Turkish Air Force, is named after the Air Force fighter pilot Capt. Cengiz Topel, whose F-100 Super Sabre was shot down on August 8, 1964 during Turkey's military intervention in Cyprus. He ejected safely over land, but was promptly captured after landing and lynched by members of the Cyprus National Guard. He was the first Turkish pilot ever killed in action.
Topel Airport was originally a Turkish Air Force facility. Following the re-establishment of the aviation branch of the Turkish Navy in 1968, the first naval helicopter pilots were trained by the Turkish Army Aviation Command's flight school at the Güvercinlik Army Air Base in Etimesgut, Ankara Province. The unit, formed in 1972 at the same base, was transferred on May 19, 1973 from Ankara to Cengiz Topel Air Base due to its location close to Gölcük Naval Base in Kocaeli Province following a protocol signed with the Turkish Air Force two weeks before. That day, Turkish Navy's first rotorcraft unit was renamed 351st Naval Helicopter Squadron.
The 301st Naval Air Squadron, formed in 1971 at Etimesgut Air Base in Ankara Province as the fixed wing aviation unit of the Navy, was transferred on August 4, 1972 to Bandırma Air Base to join the 6th Air Force Wing. With its four maritime patrol aircraft and twelve anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft of type S-2 Tracker, the unit was then relocated to Cengiz Topel Air Base on July 14, 1976.
The base, in joint use since 1973 by the air force and the navy, was transferred to the Turkish Navy Command on July 14, 1976 following the order of the Turkish General Staff. Finally, the Naval Air Station Command was established on August 4, 1976.
In 2011 the airport was opened to public air traffic. Anadolujet and Borajet operate domestic flights.
Airlines and destinations
operated by AnadoluJet
- "KCO Airport İnformation". Flight Stats. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- "Topel". World Aero Data. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- "Deniz Hava Üssü Komutanlığı" (in Turkish). TSK DzKK. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- "Cengis Topel Memorial - Gemikonagi, Near Lefke, North Cyprus". What's on North Cyprus. Retrieved 2009-08-22.