The training at the Air Force Academy is designed to inculcate moral values, leadership qualities, sense of honour and duty, mental and physical prowess, a spirit of adventure and the will to win, in the Flight Cadets. This is achieved by training in character building, discipline, military and academic subjects, physical exercise, drill, sports and adventure activities. The underlying theme of activity at the Academy is camaraderie and team spirit and a commitment to excellence. Duty, honour, integrity and self esteem are stressed upon during each stage of training; because these are important abstract qualities to be imbibed by every Flight Cadet. The curriculum and syllabi keep pace with current doctrines and technological developments, allowing the cadets at the same time to imbibe the basic principles / tenets of the military profession.
A need was felt for a long time to establish a permanent Air Force Academy at one place, not only for pilots but also for Ground Duty Officers. The idea of this Academy was conceived as far back as 1953, with an aim to bring together, at one place, the training of all fresh entrants into the flying and ground duty branches of the Air Force except for the technical branch. The plan was to develop the institution gradually with the pilots flying school moving in first, then the navigation and signal school and finally the ground duties training school. Construction of the Air Force Academy was delayed for several years due to the difficulty in acquiring a proper site. Eventually, about 6700 acres of land located approx 43 Km NW of the twin cities of Hyderabadand Secunderabad was acquired from the government of Andhra Pradesh. The location was considered ideal, as satellite bases for advanced training were available at Hakimpet and Bidar and the weather was conducive for flying training for a major portion of the year.
In common with all great institutions , the Academy too, had a humble beginning. In contrast with the present aura of grandeur, one fondly remembers the eventful days in April 1970 when Air Commodore JD Aquino (the first Commandant) landed at the proposed site to get the wheels in motion, with him was somewhat bewildered team of officers and men who took to tents and shared their not-so-enviable accommodation with scorpions, snakes and mosquitoes that showed scant regard for both rank and status.
The Air Force Academy formally came into being when the then President of India Dr Zakir Hussain, laid the foundation stone of the edifice on 11 October 1967. The Academy was a vision that sought to concentrate most of the ab-initio officer training of the IAF under one roof.