GS 2: Internal Security
Why in News?
- Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur will be commissioned as INS Kohassa by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba on January 24, 2019. The move is being undertaken to enhance the operational capability of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC). NAS Shibpur was established in 2010.
- The NAS Shibpur was set up as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for surveillance in North Andaman. Located in the northern-most part of the islands, the airfield holds strategic importance not only for the security of the islands but also for its overall development.
- INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- By commissioning NAS Shibpur as INS Kohassa, the ANC’s ability to operate independently from all the regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands will get a great boost.
- Post commissioning, the station will function as a base for joint operation of both military and civil aircraft in keeping with the UDAN scheme of the government.
- INS Kohassa will become the third Naval Air Base in the Andaman and Nicobar islands after INS Utkrosh at Port Blair and INS Baaz at Campbell Bay.
- As part of the Phase II expansion plan, the runway length would subsequently be extended to 3000 metre. This would enable the operation of wide-bodied civil and defence aircraft in the future.
- Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur was established in 2001 as a Forward Operating Air Base (FOAB) for enhanced surveillance in North Andaman.
- In 2009, the government of India accorded sanction to commission NAS Shibpur as a full-fledged air station.
- The length of the runway was extended to 12,000 ft, enabling both day and night operations.
- Dornier Do 228s of the navy and coast guard conducted the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from this base.
- In 2017, it was reported that the runway length would be extended to 3000m after the acquisition of about 100 hectares of land. This enabled the operation of wide-bodied civil and defense flights.