Ankara Güvercinlik Army Air Base

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Ankara Güvercinlik Army Air Base
Ankara Güvercinlik Kara Hava Üssü
Summary
Airport type Military/civil
Owner Turkish Army
Operator General Staff controlled units
General Command of Mapping
Army Aviation School
1st Army Aviation Regiment
Ankara Gendarmerie Aviation Group
Serves Ankara, Turkey
Location Güvercinlik, Etimesgut, Ankara
Built 1933
In use 1933-1955 civil
1958-2002 military
2002-present military/civil
Elevation AMSL 821 m / 2,694 ft
Coordinates 39°56′05.82″N 032°44′26.79″E / 39.9349500°N 32.7407750°E / 39.9349500; 32.7407750Coordinates: 39°56′05.82″N 032°44′26.79″E / 39.9349500°N 32.7407750°E / 39.9349500; 32.7407750
Map
Ankara Güvercinlik AAB is located in Turkey
Ankara Güvercinlik AAB
Ankara Güvercinlik AAB
Location of airport in Turkey
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,022 6,635 Asphalt
Source: DAFIF[1]

Ankara Güvercinlik Army Air Base, (Turkish: Ankara Güvercinlik Kara Hava Üssü) (ICAO: LTAB) is a military airport of the Turkish Army located in Güvercinlik of Etimesgut district, 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Ankara in central Turkey.

The air base hosts General Staff controlled units, General Command of Mapping's aviation unit, Army Aviation School, 1st Army Aviation Regiment and Ankara Gendarmerie Aviation Group. The airport is open to general aviation for civil domestic flights with permission.

History[edit]

With the foundation of the Turkish State Airlines Enterprise (Turkish: Devlet Hava Yolları İşletmesi) (DHY), the predecessor of the Turkish Airlines (THY), in 1933, regular domestic passenger flights started the same year between Ankara and Istanbul via a stopover in Eskişehir. The airport in Güvercinlik became the first airport of Ankara.[2]

In 1935, a training and a maintenance service center were established by the Turkish Aeronautical Association (Turkish: Türk Hava Kurumu) at the airport. The center, called Türkkuşu (for "Türkish Bird"), carried out revision services to the DHY in two hangars until its relocation to the nearby airport in Etimesgut in 1945.[3]

On February 13, 1947, the first international passenger flight of the DHY departed from the Güvercinlik Airport for Athens via Istanbul.[4][5]

Güvercinlik Airport served for the city of Ankara 22 years until 1955 when the civil flights were transferred to the newly completed Esenboğa Airport.[6] Maintenance facilities were relocated to Istanbul Yeşilköy Airport the same year.[7]

The Army Aviation School (Kara Havacılık Okulu), which was established in 1948 at the Turkish Army's Artillery School in Polatlı to train pilots and flight equipment technicians for reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters of the army and the gendarmerie, was deployed in 1958 to Güvercinlik Airport.[8]

Following the re-establishment of the aviation branch of the Turkish Navy in 1968, the first naval helicopter pilots were trained by the Army Aviation Command's flight school at the Güvercinlik Army Air Base.[9]

Legal status[edit]

Currently, the air base is owned and operated by the Turkish Army. However, the military airport is open to general aviation for non-scheduled civil domestic flights only with permission according to a "Protocol on the Use of Military Airports by Civil Aviation" signed on July 22, 2002, between the Turkish General Staff and the Ministry of Transport. Civil aircraft, foreign flagged or Turkish, may make use of the maintenance facilities at the base with permission. Aircraft with any foreigner crew member, however, need to obtain a special permission to use the facilities. No staying overnight is allowed at the airport.[7]

Units and equipment stationed[edit]

Following units and their equipment are stationed at the air base:[10][11]

1993 airplane crash[edit]

Chief of the Gendarmerie, Gen. Eşref Bitlis departed on February 17, 1993 from the Güvercinlik Air Base aboard a Beechcraft B200 for an official trip. The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off. Bitlis, his aide-de-camp, the pilots and a technician were killed.[12]

The pilot, who had VIP green card certification for excellence in flying, had switched the airplanes before the flight after having realized that the cockpit was not in order. The statement of the Chief of the General Staff, Gen. Doğan Güreş, that the accident on that snowy day was caused by atmospheric icing was denied by the crash investigators.[13]

Other airports in Ankara[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Airport information for LTAB at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Baykal, Osman Gazi. "Türkiye'de İç Hat Uçuşları" (in Turkish). Airkule.com. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  3. ^ "History-Aircraft Maintenance and Repair in Turkey". Yurkish Technic. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  4. ^ Altıngöz, Firuz (2006-10-15). "Dünden Bugüne Türk Hava Yolları-İki Özdeş İsim, Türk Hava Yolları ve DC-3" (in Turkish). Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  5. ^ "Türk Havayolları Tarihi 1933-2007" (in Turkish). SlideShare Inc. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi Nazım Projesi-8. Bağlantı Sektörleri-8.1 Ulaşım" (PDF) (in Turkish). Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  7. ^ a b "Ankara Güvercinlik Havaalanı" (in Turkish). HayatForumda.com. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  8. ^ "315. Kd. Kara Havacılık Komutanlığı 1. Alay Güvercinlik/Ankara" (in Turkish). Facebook. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  9. ^ "Deniz Hava Üs Komutanlığı-Türk Deniz Havacılık Tarihi" (in Turkish). DzKK. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  10. ^ "Turkish Army Aviation". Ole Nikolajsen. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  11. ^ "Turkish Air Force/Türk Hava Kuvvetleri-Ankara/Güvercinlik (LTAB)". Scramble on the Web. Archived from the original on 1 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Eşref Bitlis Olayı" (in Turkish). turksiyer.com. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  13. ^ "Eşref Bitlis'in Ölümü-Buzlanma yok!". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-26.