The naval air station is being built on 52 hectares primarily to cater to the Navy's large, ship-based helicopter units and Dornier 228 aircraft that will be stationed at the base. The commissioning of a Naval Air Station at Karwar will decongest INS Hansa at the nearby Dabolim Airport which is a front line Air Station that is highly congested with both operational and training flying. The resulting restrictions on civil commercial air traffic has met with opposition from civilian quarters since Goa is a popular tourist destination.
The Navy requires more land to expand the airport for civilian use and is waiting for the Karnataka Government to acquire more land for the construction of a runway. The AAI, which carried out an inspection of the site at the request of the Karnataka Government, had given suggestions regarding orientation, location and extension of the proposed runway to 2,500 metres and also of its land requirements of an additional 75 hectares. The State Government has requested the Central Government to bear the cost of acquisition of this additional land, estimated to be Rs. 20 crores.