A museum showcasing Punjab's civil aviation history is set to come up in Patiala. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has approved the project based on a proposal by the Punjab State Civil Aviation Council.
Punjab has a century-old history in the field of civil aviation which needs to be properly conveyed to future generations, Mr Mann said. The history and artefacts related to the aviation sector of the state must be displayed in this museum, he added.
The Patiala Aviation Complex, a heritage institution spread over 350 acres, will house the proposed museum with a built-up area of 1 lakh sq ft. The museum will be housed on a site of around 2.21 acres. Patiala Flying Club, Punjab Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering College and the Polo Grounds too are located inside the aviation complex on Sangrur Road in Patiala.
Hyderabad-based architectural firm SMG Design has bagged the project for planning and designing the museum. Led by architect Srinivas Murthy, the firm has undertaken many big museum projects including the under-construction Sea Harrier Museum and Sub-Marine Museum in Visakhapatnam.
The erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, is known to be the Indian to own an aircraft. He had bought a Bristol Boxkite aircraft in 1911, making Patiala the home to the legacy of aviation history in India.
The upcoming aviation museum complex will consist of the main museum building, a semi-covered display area for some contemporary and vintage aircraft, an audio-visual room, a workshop-cum-interactive learning centre for school children, an amphitheatre, a souvenir shop, and a cafeteria.
The state-of-the-art museum will have several halls with various themes dedicated to history, vintage aircraft, and famous personalities in aviation sector. It will display some of the rare and precious items related to aircraft and pilots.
A special section for children will showcase aviation history through a postal stamp collection, film shows and interactive digital media.
The work on the museum is expected to begin soon.