Bolivia Table of Contents
The General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil--DGAC), under the direction of FAB (and formerly the Ministry of Aeronautics as well), administered a civil aeronautics school, the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (Instituto Nacional de Aeronáutica Civil--INAC), and two commercial air transport services: Military Air Transports (Transportes Aéreos Militares--TAM) and Bolivian Air Transports (Transportes Aéreos Bolivianos--TAB). The ministry also controlled the allocation of a large number of small civil aircraft acquired by FAB since the approval in late 1986 of the law on seizure of aircraft not registered at the ministry. INAC, which was headquartered in the Miraflores district of La Paz, graduated eleven new commercial pilots, sixteen maintenance technicians, and three FAB navigators in 1986.
The transport service unit, which FAB refers to as TAM Group 71, has been a part of the FAB since 1945. TAM's inventory in the mid-1980s totaled 148 aircraft. Its commercial passenger flights to remote parts of Bolivia played a key role in unifying the country. TAM was commanded by the chief of TAM Group 71.
The other civil transport airline, TAB, was created as a decentralized company of FAB in 1977. Subordinate to the Air Transport Management (Gerencia de Transportes Aéreos), TAB was headed by an FAB general. As a charter airline for transporting heavy cargoes, TAB linked Bolivia with most countries of the Western Hemisphere; its inventory included a fleet of Hercules C130 aircraft. TAB's base of operations was headquartered in the FAB garrison of El Alto, adjacent to La Paz's international airport. TAB's most frequent route was to Miami and Houston, with stops in Panama.
Other civil air functions of FAB or DGAC included operating rescue and airport security units. In 1986 the DGAC was studying the reactivation of the Air Rescue Service (Servicio Aéreo de Rescate--SAR), which was apparently separate from FAB's GASR-51. The Airport Security (Seguridad de Aeropuertos) organization was created under FAB in 1987 to provide security at airport terminals. Under the new organization, personnel from FAB, the Administration of Airports and Aerial Navigation Auxiliary Services (Administración de Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares de la Navegación Aérea--AASANA), and the Military Police provided security at each airport.
Data as of December 1989