Aircraft training for Czech and foreign pilots at Pardubice
Pardubice Airport is located in the East Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. Until 1995 Pardubice was a sole military airfield, but after the military role slowly declined, the field also opened for civil use. Nowadays the airport is used for scheduled civil services, for example charter flights to Southern Europe and cargo flights, and for light aircraft training of Czech Air Force pilots and foreign air forces pilots.
The history of Pardubice goes back until 1910 when aviation enthusiast Jan Kasper bought a Bleriot XI airplane and started with flight experiments at Pardubice. The airfield stayed in use by the support of enthusiasts until the mid 1930s when new facilities were built. After a minor period of Soviet use, the airport served for training of Luftwaffe pilots in World War II. At the end of the war the airport was destroyed by allied bombing. In 1950 the airport was rebuilt and until 1995 it saw only military use. During those years, many aircraft types called Pardubice their home base. For example, the MiG-19, MiG-21, Il-28 and Su-22. The last residents were the Su-25s from the 30. Wing.
Centrum Letechéko Výcviku (CLV)
Nowadays the military key-player at Pardubice is CLV (Flight Training Centre). It is a part of an organization called LOM Praha, which is fully owned by the Czech Ministry of Defense. CLV is responsible for the basic and helicopter training of Czech pilots. CLV also offers its services at Pardubice to other countries for training their pilots. The inventory of CLV is not too impressive. It features several Mil-Mi helicopters (and since 2018 also the Enstrom 480 B), the L-39 Albatos, the L-410 Let, the EV-97 Waze and the Z-142C Zlin.
Diversion base for Caslav
Pardubice is also used as a diversion base for Caslav Air Base. Caslav is Czech Republic’s sole fighter base and hosts all 14 JAS 39 Gripen jets and all 16 L-159 Alca’s from the Czech Air Force. Every now and then, some of the Gripens and Alca’s move over to Pardubice to fly their mission from this airfield for a couple of weeks. USAF KC-135s, mostly from “partner” Nebraska ANG also visit Pardubice sometimes. Especially with exercises going on, Pardubice is mostly used for the temporary stationing of KC-135s.