Hubli airport joins big aircraft league

VVIP aircraft Rajdooth, Boeing-737, makes successful landing
Last Updated 03 February 2013, 18:31 IST

Residents of Hubli were in for a surprise on Sunday to see for the first time a big aircraft landing at the airport. 

The Rajdooth aircraft, which is used for the service of VVIPs such as the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister, was brought to the City as part of a security check in view of Vice President Hamid Ansari’s visit to the city on February 13.

Officials of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were in the City to gather vital information and the landing of the aircraft was kept a secret for security reasons, sources said.


The IAF officials held a meeting with the airport authorities on January 29, inspected the aerodrome and decided to land the Boeing -737 aircraft at the airport on a trial basis.

Airport Director K M Basavaraju confirmed the landing of the aircraft, but refused to divulge details.

The Hubli airport does not have the spacious airfield required for big aircraft. The runway has a capacity for aircraft weighing 29 to 30 tonnes, while Rajdooth weighs 57 tonnes.

The IAF bough t Rajdooth, built on the lines of the Business Boeing Jet used exclusively by the US President, along with a Rajhans aircraft and another Rajdooth aircraft, at a cost of Rs 950 crore each, three years ago from the US.

The aircraft is equipped with missile-proof, VHF communication and other advanced security features. The 46-seater can fly 41,000 feet above the ground at 450 naut (800 kmph).

(Published 03 February 2013, 18:30 IST)

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