Air Force Station, Yelahanka, clocks nearly 20,000 flying hours every six months, undertaking around 60 sorties a day. When combined with the air traffic from the second runway of Bangalore International Airport, the station, located within Bangalore’s city limits, makes for one of the busiest regions for aircraft movements in India.
The air base, which is primarily used for training by MI-8 helicopters, Dornier-228 and AN-32 transport aircraft, will complete 50 years this month.
The golden jubilee of the station coincides with the 81st Air Force Day to be celebrated across IAF bases, on October 8.
Officials point out that Yelahanka is not the Air Force’s busiest station. Wing Commander Manish Sharma, Commanding Officer, 112 Helicopter Unit, highlighted that the air base is used for training as well as operational roles. The base currently trains around 35 transport aircraft pilots and 21 helicopter pilots, who undergo a six-month course there.
Speaking to reporters, Air Commodore SP Singh declared that the base was an ‘indisputable’ part of the IAF, with its personnel having taken part in many rescue operations, including the recent disaster in Uttarakhand.
“Our aircraft were on standby even during the Uttarakhand operations,” Sharma explained.