Indian Air Force Day

Next Tuesday, 8 October 2024

The Indian Air Force Day is celebrated on October 8 every year. This is an important observation in the country because it commemorates the creation of 'Bharatiya Vayu Sena' or Indian Air Force (IAF) on October 8, 1932. This year will mark the 91st celebration which will take place in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh.

The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world right after the USA, Russia, and China. The IAF is under the supreme command of the President of India. 

Indian Air Force Day Celebration

Indian Air Force Day History

In 1932, when India was still subject to British rule, the Indian Air Force Branch was added to the Indian Armed Forces. The main objective behind the establishment of the Indian Air Force was to assist the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom.

The Indian Air Force assisted the United Kingdom in the Second World War. KK Majumdar was a notable officer in the IAF who gained much recognition for his role as a fighter pilot. In fact, King George VI added the tag 'Royal' to the Indian Air Force after witnessing their bravery and efforts in WWII in 1945.

However, in 1950, three years after gaining independence from the British Raj, the tag Royal was removed from the Indian Air Force after India became a full-fledged Republic.  

Timeline of Events


On October 8, the Indian Air Force (IAF) was established.


On April 1, the first Aircraft Flight of the IAF was pioneered.


During World War II, the Indian Air Force played a crucial role in assisting the United Kingdom. In recognition of their bravery and contributions, King George VI granted the title 'Royal' to the IAF.


After gaining the status of a Republic, India removed the tag of Royal and retained its original name Indian Air Force. 

Indian Air Force Day Celebration

Traditionally, Indian Air Force Day was exclusively observed in the National Capital Delhi. However, a new practice was introduced to commemorate this prestigious day in various parts of India. Keeping up with this, the 2023 Indian Air Force Day celebration will take place in Pragyaraj, Uttar Pradesh.

The celebration is usually attended by the President of India, the Defence Minister, presently active and retired aviators, their families, citizens, and other officials. The entire event is broadcasted on television so you can watch it with your family.

 A few common traditions of the Indian Air Force Day include the ceremonial parade, flypast (a display of aircraft in the sky), aerobatics display, award ceremony, and a speech by the Air Force Chief.

Interesting Facts about the Indian Air Force (IAF)

  • The Indian Air Force is divided into three Commands each of which is responsible for a particular function- Training Command (offers training to become pilots, engineers, navigators, etc.), Maintenance Command (looks after storage and supply of planes, ammunition, etc) and Operational Command (primary Command which defends the Nation). 
  • Arjan Singh was the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force. ​​​​​​
  • Indian Air Force Flag
    PC: R. Karthik
    The Indian Air Force ensign is similar to the Royal Air Force ensign of the UK. It consists of the Indian Flag in the corner and a round figure containing the tri-colors of the Indian National flag. 
  • Indian Air Force Logo
    The IAF Logo. Image by KCVelaga, (CC 4.0, unedited)

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) logo consists of the National Emblem of India (the lion capital of Sarnath) where the phrase 'Satyamev Jayate' is engraved. Satyamev Jaate means truth alone triumphs. Right below it is a Himalayan eagle which symbolises the fighting strength of the Indian Air Force. It is surrounded by a circle which has Bharatiya Vayu Sena written on it.

  • In 2015, the Government of India decided to include women in combat roles. The following year, in 2016, Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth, and Mohana Singh were the first women to be commissioned as fighter pilots. 

You might like to read about Independence Day next.

Indian Air Force Day
Indian Air Force Day

Indian Air Force Day - Next years

Wednesday, 08 October 2025

Thursday, 08 October 2026

Friday, 08 October 2027

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