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TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar

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TAM – Transporte Aéreo Militar (Military Air Transport) was an airline based in La Paz, Bolivia. It is owned by the Bolivian Air Force, and was established to offer flights to rural communities where commercial airlines could not operate profitably. It also operated in competition with commercial airlines on many of Bolivia's trunk domestic routes.[2] In September 2019, the airline suspended all operations.[3]

Transporte Aéreo Militar
IATA ICAO Callsign
Ceased operations23 September 2019[1]
HubsEl Alto International Airport
Teniente Jorge Henrich Arauz Airport
El Trompillo Airport
Focus citiesTrinidad
Fleet size20
Destinations4 Regular Service
Charter Routes (by request)
Parent companyBolivian Air Force
HeadquartersLa Paz, Bolivia
Key peopleWalter Arze Rojas


TAM began operations on June 15, 1945 with the acquisition of new Douglas C-47s. In 1955, the squadron of the Bolivian Air Transport decided for TAM to begin commercial operations.

"El Grupo Aéreo "71" (the Air group "71") known by the civil populace as Transporte Aéreo Militar (TAM), is an essential part of the structure of the Bolivian Air Force and the fundamental element for the development and integration of the populations in the distant parts of the national territory."

—TAM website, Historical summary/review.[4]

The original name (from 1944) was "El Escuadrón de Transporte Aéreo" (ETA). In 1953 the name was changed to Transporte Aéreo Militar. This heritage is reflected in the words "Grupo Aéreo 71" appearing as part of the TAM logo.

The airline has stopped their flights since July 2018. In March 27, 2019, the airline gained authorization to begin flying again, but during that period failed to obtain an operating authorization from the ATT; this failure lead to them ceasing all operations again on September 23rd, 2019.[5]



Xian MA60 of Transporte Aéreo Militar at El Alto International Airport.

The TAM fleet consists of the following aircraft:[2]

Transporte Aéreo Militar Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 727 1 0
Boeing 737 6 0
British Aerospace 146 6 0
CASA C212 2 0
Convair CV-580 1 0 Stored at La Paz
Douglas C-47 1 0 Preserved at La Paz
Fokker F27 1 0
Xian MA60 2 0
Total 20 0

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 11 September 1962 Captain Walter Arze Rojas's aircraft crashed after the plane was given standard gasoline instead of aviation fuel.
  • On 12 February 1970, Douglas DC-3 TAM-11 crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Laja Airport. The aircraft was operating a non-scheduled passenger flight. All five people on board survived.[7]
  • On 14 July 1970, Douglas DC-3 TAM-17 was damaged beyond repair in an accident at El Alto International Airport, La Paz.[8]
  • On 4 May 1971, Douglas C-47 TAM-22 crashed shortly after take-off from El Alto Airport, La Paz on a cargo flight to El Jovi Airport.[9]
  • On 25 September 1972, Douglas C-47A TAM-24 was reported to have been damaged beyond economic repair in an accident at Caranavi Airport.[10]
  • On 19 January 1974, Douglas DC-3 TAM-30 was damaged beyond economic repair in a wheels-up landing at Laia.[11]
  • On 11 November 1974, Douglas DC-3 TAM-34 crashed near the Sorata Mountain shortly after take-off from El Alto Airport.[12]
  • On 27 October 1975, a CV-440 crashed into the Cerro Colorado volcano during takeoff, killing all 4 crew and 63 passengers on board. The aircraft was carrying military officers and their families.
  • On 18 March 2011, a Xian MA60 (with Bolivian registration FAB-96) with 33 passengers and crew aboard, performed an emergency landing without locked nose landing gear in the airport of the touristic Amazonian village of Rurrenabaque, on arrival from La Paz. No injuries were reported.[13][14]
  • On 9 January 2012 a Xian MA60 (with Bolivian registration FAB-96) with 16 passengers and 5 crew aboard performed an emergency landing without landing gear lowered at Guayaramerin on arrival from Riberalta. No injuries occurred, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.[15]


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website

  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Scmitz, Sebastian (February 2014). Airliner World. Key Publishing. pp. 32–37. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "TAM-11 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  8. ^ "TAM-17 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  9. ^ "TAM-22 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  10. ^ "TAM-24 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  11. ^ "TAM-30 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  12. ^ "TAM-34 Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  13. ^ Avión aterriza de panza sin causar daños, Periódico Los Tiempos, retrieved on March 18, 2011, archived from the original on March 21, 2011
  14. ^ "TAM Bolivia MA60 at Rurrenabaque on Mar 18th 2011, could not extend nose gear, rests on belly". Air Crash Observer, retrieved on March 20, 2011. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "TAM Bolivia MA60 at Guayaramerin on Jan 9th 2012, gear up landing". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 9 January 2012.

External linksEdit