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Leh Air Force Station
Having been renamed to the Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport recently, famous Leh AFS had been established in the Jammu & Kashmir state of India to cater to the military training needs of country. This airport still comes under the military control due to its extensive use in the Air Force trainings but equally does it get recognition as a commercial airport due to its maximum use for the common masses after it being commercialized recently.
Located in the Leh area of Jammu & Kashmir state of India, Leh AFS is located at the elevation of 10,682 ft.,/3,256m. Geographically, the airport coordinates at the 34°08′09″ N 077°32′47″ E and is considered one of those airports whose location is at the highest place in the whole world at 3,256m or 10,682ft., above the mean sea level which makes it a distinguished airport.
Certain rules are applicable for passengers travelling from Leh AFS for the flights to originate from this airport due to the security reasons like no permission to any passenger to carry the on-flight hand baggage. Passengers are though permitted to carry cameras or laptop bags while travelling. It becomes necessary for passengers to identify the check-in baggage post scanning and prior to their loading in aircrafts that take off from this airport. Such attempts are mainly to maintain security. Good number of security forces that include police and Indian Army patrol teams keep vigil in this airport to there doesn’t come any interruption in maintaining security.
Leh AFS has been named after the eminent Ladakh Statesman of India, Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, who had played important role in the region in his lifetime. It is true that although this airport has been opened for the public but it remained at the center of attraction from many other security related issues to note. Terrorism is a major concern in this region that always requires the involvement of security forces to maintain peace here. Perhaps it was the key factor that this airbase had been extensively used by the Air Forces ever since it was made fully operational and such practice still continues.
As mountain winds are common in the Leh AFS most of the flights taking off from this airport fly in the morning hours only. In fact airlines usually fly for the domestic sectors for destinations including Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar and Chandigarh amongst others. The nearby airbases Thoise, Kargil, Dras, Kyelong, Sonamarg and Manali et al serve to the security forces.
Leh AFS has its state-of-the-art runway that had been prepared from asphalt. This runway caters to the current needs of both commercial and Air Force flights that operate from this airport to connect to rest parts of the country.
Units at Leh AFS Base
Leh AFS, being one of the major military airbases in the region, does accommodate many units that operate here to maintain proper security in this region. The units available here are often trained and involved in various types of security related issues for which this airbase had been developed.
Leh AFS has been brought into public limelight ever since it was permitted to be used for the commercial purposes but still the airbase is important location for the Indian Air Forces for training and security drills. It is perhaps one major reason that Leh AFS has its systematic Kendriya Vidyalayas which are meant to initiate the trainings for potential security forces.