‘Remoteness of the Place Is Our Biggest Challenge’
Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Tezpur, Air Commodore T.K. Nair
What is the importance of Air Force Station, Tezpur?
We are very strategically located because if you see the map of India, Tezpur is right in the centre of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in the north, China in the east, Myanmar in the southeast and Bangladesh in the west. From Tezpur we can look at all these four countries, this is the reason I would say that at least in the Northeast, Tezpur is the most strategic air force station.

How many squadrons are to be built up here and what is the time frame for these raisings?

The first Su-30MKI squadron has already been raised with the full complement of aircraft. The second squadron will be raised in a couple of months.

What exactly is the infrastructure that you need to house two Su-30MKI squadrons?

To begin with, weTo begin with, we need two big hangars where the servicing of these aircraft can be done. Our hangers were designed to house MiG-21, as Tezpur was the MiG-21 base earlier. Since Su-30MKI is a bigger aircraft, we can just about fit three aircraft in a hangar, which means that at any given time we can service only three aircraft. Then we are going for Service Support Centre, one of which is in Pune, where one can undertake major servicing. This is going to be a separate establishment altogether. We will also get a Part Task Trainer (PTT), which is something like simulator. This construction is also underway. Other construction includes a Tech Flight hangar. Besides, a parallel taxi track is being resurfaced apart from a few other areas which require resurfacing. The whole project is valued at Rs 500 crore and the work has already started. Hopefully, it should finish within two to three years. We have peculiar problems in the Northeast. It rains and rains here which slows down the pace of work. Then every second day there is an Assam bandh and labour does not come.

How is PTT different from a real simulator?
In PTT no motion is simulated. You can practice your checks and procedures. A real simulator can be either fixed based or full motion simulator. You get to practice full motion flying.Are you expecting to get the full motion simulator sometime in the future?
I am not aware of any plans at the moment to induct a full motion simulator in Tezpur. Pune, which has three Su-30MKI squadrons, has a full motion simulator.
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