Kheria Air Force Station
|Airport type||Military / Public|
|Operator||Indian Air Force /
Airports Authority of India
|Location||Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India|
|Elevation AMSL||551 ft / 167.94 m|
Agra Airport (Hindi: आगरा हवाईअड्डा) aka Kheria Air Force Station (IATA: AGR, ICAO: VIAG), is a military airbase and public airport serving the city of Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The air force station is one of the largest airbases of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and has been synonymous with the Taj Mahal for over half a century. On 15 August 2007, the airbase celebrated its sixtieth anniversary. The Airbase was also featured in the 2013 Walt Disney Pictures movie - Planes as a pit stop for the Wings Across The World race.
The station was opened during WWII as Royal Air Forces Station Agra and had a number of flying units located there. It was closed after the war and transferred to the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF). The prefix Royal was later dropped and the station was later renamed. Air Force Station Agra was established on 15 August 1947 and placed under the command of Wing Commander Shivdev Singh, who was the incumbent commander of the No. 12 Sqn. Based on the then present system of Commands, the airfield fell under the responsibility of the Western Air Command (WAC). The base remained under this Theatre Command for the next two decades. In July 1971 it was transferred to the Central Air Command (CAC), where it remains today.
The airfield has remained unchanged, although many of the aircraft, squadrons, officers, and men have come and gone. During its sixty-year history with the IAF, it has seen the likes of C-47 Dakotas, C-119 Packets, HS 748 'Avros', AN-12s, AN-32s, IL-76s, Canberras, IL-78 MKI and now the Airborne Early Warning and Control/AWACS. Today, it is hard to find a transport pilot who has not been at Air Force Station Agra at least sometime during his career; this trend will undoubtedly continue well into the future.
The station now has the honour of holding the first inflight refueling aircraft Squadron in IAF service, with No 78 ‘Mid Air Refuelling Squadron’ (MARS) Squadron flying the IL-78MKIs.
During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces Air Technical Service Command established a major maintenance and supply facility at Agra, named "Agra Air Depot". The 3rd Air Depot Group serviced a wide variety of fighter, bomber and transport aircraft being used by Tenth Air Force and the Allied ground forces in Burma and Fourteenth Air Force in China. The depot stockpiled large amounts of material for shipment over the Himalayan Mountains ("The Hump") by Air Transport Command cargo aircraft flying to forward airfields in China. It also was a major stopover point on the ATC Karachi-Kunming air transport route.
No. 50 Squadron IAF has been tasked with the operations of the newly inducted Beriev A-50E/I Airborne Early Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft. The AWACS has been mounted on a specially designed IL-76 with advanced avionics & telecommunication systems.
Taj International Airport
A new greenfield international airport is proposed for Agra in a bid to give required fillip to tourism in Uttar Pradesh, Taj international airport project at Agra would be implemented in right earnest with the state government according top priority to this project as Taj Mahal is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. Consortium of Rites Ltd and KPMG Advisory Services Pvt Ltd, the selected consultants for this project, made a detailed presentation to Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner(IIDC), Anil Kumar Gupta on the future course of action. Consultants were asked to identify the best suited site by the end of the current financial year. The project site would be selected in a way so as to enable prompt clearances and approvals for the implementation without any hindrances. To be developed through Public Private Partnership (PPP), in order to ensure time-bound execution of the project, the government has assured full cooperation at all levels of administration. Development of an international airport near the Taj Mahal will enhance the tourist inflow, the new airport would also cater to needs of frequent fliers, entrepreneurs and exporters from the region. If everything goes as per plan, Agra will have an international airport within 4 to 5 years.
Airlines and destinations
- Lucknow International Airport
- Varanasi International Airport
- Taj International Airport
- Bareilly Airport
- Kanpur Airport
- Aligarh Airport
- Faizabad Airport
- Gorakhpur Airport
- USAFHRA Document Search Agra Air Depot
- "Airfield Visits". Bharat-Rakshak.com. 2008.
- "Indo-US air force transport exercise at Agra next year". The Hindu. 22 September 2008.
- Agra Airport at Airports Authority of India
- Agra Airbase at GlobalSecurity.org
- Current weather for VIAG at NOAA/NWS
- Airport information for VIAG at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for Kheria Airport, Agra, India (AGR / VIAG) at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- Accident history for Agra-Kheria Airport, India (AGR / VIAG) at Aviation Safety Network