If things go as planned, Telangana State will have its first gift in the shape of an Air Force training facility at Adilabad. A recent proposal to bring the old aerodrome under some use has resulted in the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Indian Air Force conducting a joint survey of the existing airstrip on Wednesday with the aim of assessing the feasibility of establishing such a facility.

A team of IAF officials from the Begumpet Air Force Station led by Group Captain Satish Balachander and revenue officials from the district led by Collector Babu A. conducted the survey of the airfield and the lands on its periphery.

No problem of land

“There is sufficient land for extending the present runway to a 9,000 ft strip as an essential component of an Air Force training facility here. We need 1,500 acres of land in addition to the existing 369 acres,” Mr. Babu said after the survey.

The district administration has already deployed three teams of surveyors and a report would be sent to the State government within four days. As the IAF is also keen on developing the training facility, things are expected to move faster.

The aerodrome was developed by the Nizam of Hyderabad sometime in the later half of the 1930s and was used as a refuelling station during World War II. It was taken over by the IAF following Hyderabad’s accession to the Indian Union and was used for refuelling small aircraft until the late 1970s.

Collector’s efforts

The current development is attributed to the interest evinced by the district Collector, who wrote to Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty about the need for putting the huge extent of land to some productive use. The Chief Secretary then got in touch with the IAF which resulted in the survey and an announcement on the development is expected before the appointed date of June 2 for formation of Telangana State.