is one of the oldest bases of the PAF. During
pre-independence days it functioned as a maintenance depot
for the RIAF, but it had no flying units. After Pakistan
came into being and up to 1948, Lahore remained a small base
while continuing its maintenance role. A big change came
when, in 1949-1950, No. 6 Transport Squadron equipped with
Dakotas and Bristol Freighters moved from Peshawar to
Lahore. Later, in 1960 the squadron moved on to its
permanent home Chaklala.
Within a month of independence, an air force central medical
board had been established at Chaklala, which was
responsible for the medical certification of all aircrews of
the PAF, civil aviation and plant protection department.
Soon thereafter, the C M B was relocated at Lahore where it
remained for about ten years; in 1959 it moved again, this
time more permanently, to Mauripur.
In the early-1950s, a University Air Squadron (UAS) and a
Shaheen Air Training Corps (SATC) troop were established at
Lahore with a view to making the students air minded, and
for attracting talented youngsters to join the RPAF. The USA
was equipped with Austers and Tiger Moths comprised gliding,
aero-modeling and camping etc. Both these units were
disbanded sometime in 1956-1957 but not before they had made
a substantial contribution to the all-important pilot
recruitment programme of the RPAF.
In 1960, the station organization was re-orientated to make
Lahore an air defence base. Many existing observer units
were shifted to it from other bases, and by 1965-1966
additional units had been raised. Today, the operations wing
of Lahore has the vital responsibility of providing
year-round air defence cover by both human and technical
means over vast areas of the country.
In the late-1950s, the civil aviation department was placed
under Air Headquarters. Consequently, the PAF station
commander at Lahore was also made the regional controller of
civil aviation for Lahore region, which encompassed areas up
to Rahim Yar Khan. At the same time, the regional control
centre was moved from Chakala to Lahore while the civil air
traffic shifted from Walton to Lahore airfield. In 1961, a
PIA Super Constellation made its first landing at the
improved Lahore airport. The northern hangar of the PAF was
loaned to PIA and converted into the civil terminal
building. In 1966, the main runway was extended to
facilitate operation of Trident and Boeing aircraft.
In 1978, the PAF's new low looking as well as high powered
radars and associated facilities started to arrive in the
country, and Lahore base was given the responsibility of
setting up an institution for the purpose of training large
numbers of officers and men on the new equipment.
Accordingly, in 1978-1979 an air defence modernization
school, now renamed as Air Defence Systems School, was
established to qualify all technicians, operators, engineers
and controllers before assignment. Today the ADSS continues
to fulfill this role on a permanent basis.
Being located in a most attractive provincial capital and
historically rich city, the Lahore air base also plays host
to many air force dignitaries from foreign lands. In
addition, during the annual Air Force Day celebrations on 7
September, the base attracts one of the largest crowds in
the country, and many retired PAF personnel settled in the
city are welcomed to join the festivities.