Indore: JRD piloted first flight that landed at airport 82 years ago
Indore: What kind of proud feeling generate in the mind and heart to know that the fact that first flight operation started from the city about 82 years, when the first air mail service aircraft landed at the city airport. The pilot of this flight was ‘Father of Indian Aviation’ JRD Tata. After starting of the scheduled domestic flight operation in 1948, the international flight operation is going to start after 61 years from July 15. When the aviation history of the city is going to touch an ultimate mile stone of starting the international operation, it is the time to revisit the history of airport and aviation.
1934: Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar consulted Neville Vincent, an RAF pilot, for the construction of the airport close to Bijasan Hill. The initial cost was estimated Rs 1,84,092. The first installment of Rs 14,500 was issued by Holkar King.
1937: The construction of the airport completed.
December 7, 1937: The first non-scheduled flight arrived from Mumbai carrying air mail landed at the city airport. The caption of the flight was ‘Father of Indian Aviation’ JRT Tata. JRD mention this moment in his biography ‘The Key Notes’.
29 July, 1946: Tata Airlines converted to Air India Public Limited Company.
26 July, 1948: First scheduled domestic operation of the flight started from the city airport by Indian Air Lines, a subsidiary of Air India. 17 Seater The Super Constellation aircraft was ferrying from Mumbai to Indore to Bhopal, Gwalior-Agra and New Delhi thrice in a week.
1969-70: 48 seater Avero HS748 aircraft was put in service for operating another flight Bombay to Indore to Bhopal to Jabalpur to Raipur. But after some years the flight operation was cancelled.
1981: 126 seater Boeing-737 landed at the airport from Bombay to Indore. For Boeing the runway of the airport was extended to 7,600 feet from 5,600 feet.
1992: Damania Airlines as a first private airlines started operation from the city.
1993: NRI business man hailing from Betul district started Continental Airways. It started operation of the flight between Mumbai-Indore.
1996: Jet Airways started the operation from here. Initially between Mumbai and Indore.
2003: For the first time 144 seater Airbus A-319 aircraft landed here.
2004: Kingfisher Airlines started the operation between Mumbai and Indore.
2009: Go Airways started the operation from here between Mumbai and Indore.
March, 2011: Indigo entered in the arena and started the operation.
Later, Air Asia and Tru Airlines started the flight operation.
(Sources: Airport Authority of India, India Air Lines, historian of the city and Apna Indore Book.)
First IATA recougnised travel Agent of Cental India
We were the first IATA reconugnised travel agent of central India, who started the functioning of as Sanghi Travels in 1966. Initially we were authorised agency of Indian Airlines. Today large corporate and also good chunk of SME are our clients. Indore had been eyeing onto operations of international flights for quite a long time and beginning of Dubai flights is a milestone of success for Indore since it will open a new array of opportunities for Indore to link with the world. This definitely will boost international trade from Indore and bring prospects of foreign investments which gives a faster pace of growth to Indore.
Sharad Sanghi, MD, Sanghi Brothers,
Sanghi Travels is its subsidiary
Captain’s smartness averted major accident in 1980
Since there was just one flight operation in gap of two days, therefore after departure of the flight airport was closed down. In 1966, the flight operation had to be suspended in monsoon season, as the runway remained submerged in water. In 1980’s the front landing gear of a flight coming from Mumbai did not open before the landing of the aircraft at runway. Sensing the danger and to avert a major accident, the smart caption ran the aircraft on rear landing wheels on the runway for excessive time until the speed could not be controlled.
Dhananjay Gadgil, Ex-Station Manager of Air India.
He posted in the city for about 19 years
Tukojirao Holkar initiated construction of airport
Tukojirao Holkar was the smart ruler of the city from Holkar dynasty. He is also considered as the main architect of the modern Indore. He was the first person who consulted with Nevill Vintcent of Royal Air Force for the construction of the airport in the city. On December 7, 1937, first non-scheduled flight was landed here. The captain of the flight was JRD Tata, who is also known as ‘Father of India Aviation’.
Expert of Aviation Affairs