According to a defence release announced on 18th January, Naval Air Station (NAS) Shibpur will be commissioned as INS Kohassa, in view to enhance the operational capability of Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).
The release issued by the Headquarters ANC stated that Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff will drive NAS Shibpur which was established in 2010 as INS Kohassa on January 24.
It declared that INS Kohassa has been named after a White-Bellied Sea Eagle, which is a large bird of prey endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The NAS Shibpur was established 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.
The release added also that, the addition of this airfield, will enhance the ANC’s ability to operate independently from all the regions of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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.
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.
As part of Phase II expansion plan, the runway length would subsequently be extended to 3000 metre. This will enable the operation of wide-bodied civil and defence aircraft in the future.