IAF to set up vintage airplane museum in Chandigarh

Published on Aug 04, 2021 12:19 AM IST

Chandigarh administration and Indian Air Force reached an in principle agreement to set up the museum at the government press building in Sector 18

The Chandigarh administration had shut down the government printing press in 2019.
The Chandigarh administration had shut down the government printing press in 2019.
By, Chandigarh

The Chandigarh administration and Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday reached an in principle agreement to create an IAF vintage museum at the government press building in Sector 18.

After weeks of deliberations with the administration, which also included visits to the press building, a team of senior IAF officials from Delhi held a meeting with UT administrator VP Singh Badnore on Tuesday, where the final decision was taken to go ahead with the project.

“Now, the IAF team will get the requisite internal approvals, and thereafter, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed with the administration. After the signing of the MoU, we expect the work on the project to be completed within six months,” said UT adviser Dharam Pal.

The IAF plans to showcase its vintage aircraft, armaments and memorabilia from different wars, including 1971 Indo-Pak War and Kargil War, at the museum. There will also be a flight simulator at the museum. “Vintage aircraft like Dakota and Spitfire are planned to be exhibited at the museum. There will also be audio video galleries and a space for showcasing documentaries related to the IAF history,” Pal said.

The IAF will design the museum, for which it will hire a consultant. “Depending upon the space and design, the number and type of vintage aircraft will be selected by the air force,” said Pal.

IAF officials are happy with the space available at the four-storeyed building with glass facade, which is a heritage site. “The IAF officials expect the museum to bring greater awareness in the region, particularly among children, about the role and contribution of the air force in national security and defence,” said a UT official who attended the Tuesday meeting.

No takers for vintage car museum

The administration had shut down the government printing press in 2019. It then decided to house a vintage car museum there, a dream project of Badnore. Later, the administration decided to also set up a heritage furniture museum on one of the floors. Another section was planned for organising auction of the spare heritage furniture items.

After failing to get any response to tenders floated to invite firms to establish the museum, the administration decided to convert the museum into an IAF vintage museum.

“The administration had even reduced the charges in successive tenders but still failed to get any response. The administration has already carried out extensive repairs and facelift of the building. The building located at the prime location on the Madhya Marg has always attracted attention because of its unique architecture. So, a revised proposal was prepared inviting the IAF to create a vintage aircraft museum,” said the official.

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