A full-fledged naval air station which can be utilised for commercial operations will come up at INS Kadamba Naval Base in Karwar by 2025. This naval station will help in decongesting INS Hansa air station at Dabolim in Goa.
The ongoing naval base expansion work — Seabird Phase II A — is expected to be completed by 2023. Once operational, it will be the largest naval base in Asia. As part of the expansion work, the naval air station will come up at Alageri village near Ankola and it is expected to start functioning in 2025.
According to sources, the naval air station will come up in 1,328 acres. There is no need for additional land as the required land is already available with the Navy.
The naval air station will accommodate Dornier-228 type aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and more. INS Hansa is very congested owing to a large number of civilian flights and naval flights, including training flights, using it. Once the Karwar naval air station starts functioning, several aircraft from INS Hansa can be diverted here, said a naval officer.
In the proposed naval air station, the Navy is planning to construct an airstrip measuring 2,000 m for the landing of their aircraft. The state government, which has plans to construct a civilian airport in Uttara Kannada district, has initiated talks with the Defence Ministry to use the upcoming naval air station for civilian operations.
The Defence Ministry has agreed to this proposal and it has asked the government to add an extra 1,000 m to the planned 2,000 m runway.
Speaking to TNIE, Rear Admiral Mahesh Singh N M, Flag Officer Commanding Karnataka Naval Area, said opening of the base for civilian operations will help to boost tourism in the region and will also help in the region’s overall development. The district administration has notified 40 acres of land to be acquired at Alageri village for extending the runway and build a terminal in cooperation with the Airports Authority of India.
ON EXPANSION MODE ::
Employment Generation: The Rs 20,000-crore Seabird Phase II-A work at INS Kadamba Naval Base will be completed by 2023 and will be the home base for 50 ships and submarines. The number of Navy personnel at the base will increase to around 5,000. Also, Kendriya Vidyalaya, residential quarters, upgrading of INHS Patanjali hospital to 400-bed hospital and several other works will commence. All this will generate hundreds of direct and thousands of indirect jobs for the local residents.
100 Warships: The Phase II B expansion work, which will begin after Phase II A work, will be another big project at the Karwar naval base. After Phase II B works are completed, Karwar will be home to more than 100 ships and submarines.