Halwara Air Force Station

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Halwara Air Force Station, Ludhiana
Summary
Airport typeMilitary
OperatorIndian Air Force
LocationHalwara, Punjab
Elevation AMSL790 ft / 241.5 m
Coordinates30°44′55″N 75°37′47″E / 30.74861°N 75.62972°E / 30.74861; 75.62972Coordinates: 30°44′55″N 75°37′47″E / 30.74861°N 75.62972°E / 30.74861; 75.62972
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
31/13 8,985 2,725 Asphalt

Halwara Air Force Station is an Indian Air Force (IAF) base near Halwara town in Punjab, India. It is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the IAF and was actively involved in both, 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak conflicts because of its strategic location. It is home to the 220 Squadron known as ‘Desert Tigers’, flying the Sukhoi Su-30MKI.

The State Government signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in December 2018 to construct a civil enclave at the air base. It will be spread over 135.5 acres and is expected to ready in three years.[1]

History[edit]

The airfield was built in 1942 by the Royal Air Force. Halwara was used as an allied Air Force staging base during World War II and was abandoned after the war. Halwara was reactivated under the Indian Air Force on March 16, 1950, and is one of the oldest frontline airbases of the IAF.[2] The base was home to two Spitfire squadrons in the early 1950s. The de Havilland Vampire, the first jet aircraft of the IAF, was introduced to the base in 1954. The 1800 metre runway was extended to its present length in 1963. Due to its strategic location, Halwara was actively involved in both 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. The base housed squadrons of MIG 23 BN for three decades until March 2009 when they were phased out. In September 2012, Halwara inducted its first squadron of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI becoming the first air base in the Western Air Command to operate the aircraft.[3]

In December 2018, the Punjab government signed an MoU with the AAI in December 2018 to construct a civil enclave at the air base. A joint venture company, formed with the majority stake of 51% AAI and 49% stake of the State Government thorough the Greater Ludhiana Development Authority (GLADA), will execute the project. The Punjab government will provide 135.54 acres of land by way of its equity in the project, while AAI will bear the costs of developing the airport. The first phase is expected to be completed within three years and will allow for operations of Code 4C type of aircraft.[1]

Ludhiana International Airport[edit]

An International airport is being planned for Ludhiana at Halwara Air Force Station. All the NOC have been obtained from various departments and Punjab government has also signed an MOU with the Airport Authority of India. AAI and the state yes ill develop the civil terminal through a joint venture company (JVC) to be constituted. While AAI would have a majority stake of 51% in the JVC, the state government, through the Greater Ludhiana Development Authority (GLADA), will have 49% stake in the project.

Location[edit]

Halwara airforce station is just north of Halwara town and 27 km southwest of Ludhiana city in Punjab, India. Ludhiana is the nearest large city and the railhead for reaching Halwara by long distance trains.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Punjab inks pact for Halwara". Times of India. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Punjab's Halwara airbase: Tale of 68 years of battles fought and wars won". Hindustan Times. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Induction Ceremony: SU 30 MKI at Air Force Station Halwara". Press Information Bureau. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2019.