Car Nicobar Air Force Base
Car Nicobar Air Force Base
|Operator||Indian Air Force|
|Location||Car Nicobar, India|
|Elevation AMSL||2 m / 5 ft|
The 37 Wing Air Force Station at Car Nicobar has an area of 204 hectares (504 acres). The 914-metre (3,000 ft) bitumen runway was built by the Japanese during their occupation of these islands between 1942–45. After 1945, it was used by the British Royal Air Force as a refuelling base for regular (generally twice-weekly) flights between RAF Negombo (now Colombo International Airport) in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and RAF Changi in Singapore (& vice versa), with an additional stop in RAF Butterworth, on the Malayan peninsula (opposite Penang). These flights were generally operated by Vickers Valetta twin-prop aircraft. The runway was extended to 2,708 metres (8,886 ft) by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1967. The first Mi-8 helicopter arrived here in 1982. Besides the No. 122 Helicopter Flight, IAF of Mi-8 helicopters, Dorniers and an Air Defence unit are based here.
The airstrip was brought into operation by the IAF by raising Staging Post[clarification needed] in the year 1956, with its role as refuelling station for all aircraft flying across the Bay of Bengal. The Helicopter Flight was later inducted on 1 April 1985. The Base was upgraded to Forward Base Support Units (FBSU) on 23 August 1986 and subsequently as a Wing on 15 September 1993. The air base was devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, when 116 IAF officers and men, and wives and children, died. Little remained of the air base, which was established as India's southernmost defence post. IAF personnel worked night and day: the runway was repaired, navigational aids and the basic infrastructure were put back in place. On 14 April, just three-and-a-half months later, the Car Nicobar Air Base resumed operations.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands Administration operates biweekly flights between Port Blair and Campbell Bay via Car Nicobar with 10 seater D228 aircraft chartered from Indian Air Force. There's also regular helicopter service by Pawan Hans between Car Nicobar, Port Blair and various Islands of Nicobar district.
- Airport information for VOCX from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
- "Squadrons ad Helicopter units". Bharat-rakshak.com. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "Andaman & Nicobar Command Saga of Synergy". Sainik Samachar Archive. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "The Air Element". Purple Beret.com. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "IAF Air Base rises from tsunami wreckage". Rediff News. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "Air Force Started Flights Between Inter Islands". Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
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