Tomorrow, February 17, 2011 marks the 100 year anniversary of civil aviation in India. To commemorate this milestone, the year 2011-12 has been being declared as the ‘Civil Aviation Centenary Year’.
From humble beginnings, India has grown in to the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world. Airlines, airports, aircraft, and pretty much anyone connected with civil aviation in India will commence on a year long celebration.
Indian carriers will feature the 100 year anniversary logo. Low cost carrier IndiGo has already painted it fleet with the logo. If you are travelling look out for it to the right of the entrance door of the aircraft.
Bangalore Aviation will be bringing a feature article showcasing the highs and some lows over the last one hundred years.
My first flying experience was aboard Air India’s very first Boeing 747-200, named Emperor Ashoka registration VT-EBD, in late May or early June 1972 when I was not even 8 years old.
While I do not recall much from that time in my life, I still vividly remember clinging on to my mother’s hand and arching my back to try and see the top of the tail towering five storeys high as we climbed into the aircraft for our flight from Bombay’s Santa Cruz airport to New Delhi’s Palam airport. Today the area the jumbo-jet was parked in is Terminal 1C.
The memories of the unique moan of the GE engines on the first Airbus A300B4’s of Indian Airlines still produce a smile in the mind. Bangalore used to have just three flights a day when we moved to the city in 1973. I used to cycle to the airport, sit on the bund, that today marks the boundary wall of the Karnataka Golf Association near HAL wind tunnel road, just to catch a glimpse of a plane, any plane, coming in to land.
The innocent fantasies of childhood have turned in to a lifelong passion, which I thank my parents for introducing me to.
Please join Bangalore Aviation in celebrating this centenary. Spare a moment, post a comment, re-live your memories, ….. and share your passion for flight.