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Thanjavur Air Force Station
Thanjavur AFS or airport had been established and developed in Tamil Nadu even before India was freed from the colonial British rule. This airbase though welcomed the fast development after country’s independence over the period. It has already been well organized to keep control over the Air Forces operation as well as training in the southern part of the country. In fact, this Air Force has played major roles to systematize the security forces in southern command through it being military type airport today. Its operator, Indian Air Forces coordinates with the Central and State Government authorities to enhance its operations in this region and to maintain the internal security of country and curb external threats to the best extent.
Located in Thanjavur or Tanjore region of Tamil Nadu state of India at an elevation of 253 ft., this region has its geographic coordination at 10°43′20″N 079°06′05″E and proves best suitable for airbase operation. Weather and climatic condition of this airbase is appropriate and suitable enough to continue the training as well as other related operations in this region.
The purpose behind establishing Thanjavur AFS was to strengthen the Air Forces in this region from the southern command, and being operated from Thanjavur to make sure that all sorts of security measures are taken into account as and when such needs occur. This airbase is an important and strategic location for security forces of India especially Air Forces that has made it the home to its Sukhoi Su-30 MKI super maneuverable fighter aircraft squadron. This fighter had the distinction of being the first Indian Air Force fighter squadron in southern state of Tamil Nadu to operate for charismatic impact.
If looking back into the leaflets of history then we come to know the pivotal role of Thanjavur AFS even before India had attained freedom from British rule. Thanjavur AFS used to be the major airfield during World War II. The Royal Air Force had used this airbase in that period for multiple operations. The aircrafts Lockheed Hudson, Vickers Wellington, Hawker Hurricane, and P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft used to operate from this airbase during that period.
Once Thanjavur AFS had been finally handed to the civilian government of India after the wars then a decision had been taken to use it for civilian purposes. The Airports Authority of Indian (AAI) therefore took control over it for some time and the airbase began its modernization to explore civilian operations. The major aim and achievement during the early '90s was that Thanjavur AFS got connected to Chennai for which Vayudoot Flight Service had been involved. The operation though failed to operate for the longer time period due to many known or unknown reasons which were brought into focus before taking a decision to hand it over to Air Forces once again.
Thanjavur AFS once again came under the control of Indian Air Forces. It played the key roles through operating helicopters during Tamil Nadu heavy floods in the recent time. The security forces used this airbase extensively in rescue operations to offer required facility to safeguard the lives during that natural calamity.
Out of the many unique features and facilities at Thanjavur AFS the one which is always noticeable are the two runways having been developed from the concrete to make the surfaces stronger enough for the operation of all types of aircrafts. The runways measure at 5,680 by 150 feet and 4,757 by 150 feet respectively.