|Airport type||Naval Air Station|
|Location||Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India|
|Elevation AMSL||14 ft / 4 m|
INS Utkrosh (IATA: N/A, ICAO: VOPB), is an Indian naval air station under the joint-services Andaman and Nicobar Command of the Indian Armed Forces. It is located near naval base INS Jarawa, on Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
It shares airside facilities with Veer Savarkar International Airport which handles civilian traffic.
On 11 May 1985, the air station was formally commissioned as INS Utkrosh by then Defence Minister of India, P. V. Narasimha Rao, making it the first naval air station in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Its location makes it an important strategic station for protecting India's maritime interests in the Bay of Bengal. It also serves as an important facility for undertaking humanitarian operations, such as disaster relief and evacuation of medical emergencies from the remote islands.
The facilities at INS Utkrosh have been significantly upgraded. The runway has been lengthened to almost 11,000 feet (3,400 m). Except for the civilian terminal operated by the Airports Authority of India, all other air traffic operations over Port Blair are undertaken by INS Utkrosh. The geography makes this a difficult airfield for aircraft, as a hillock at one end means that planes can land or take off only in one direction. Winds change here every six months, so pilots have to either take off or land with strong tail winds.
Naval Air Squadrons based at INS Utkrosh include:
- INAS 318, a reconnaissance squadron operating Dornier Do 228 aircraft
- INAS 321, operating HAL Chetak helicopters
- "Naval Air Stations". Indian Navy. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Warlow, Ben (2000). Shore Establishments of the Royal Navy. Maritime Books. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-907771-74-6.
- "Andaman & Nicobar Command: Saga of Synergy". Sainik Samachar. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- "Port Blair". World Aero Data. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
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