Current Size: 95%
A Naval Air Station conjures up the images of a mini city, an airport, a world of magnificent men and their flying machines and an assembly of support services that ensure safe and efficient operations of aircraft. Naval Air Station is a military base built and organised with the sole purpose of conducting Naval Air operations in a smooth and efficient manner. Indian Navy today boasts of seven Naval Air Stations spread across the length and breadth of the country.
Naval Air Stations are the only shore establishments of the Navy, which are bestowed the status of an Operational Unit. Besides basing and operating a variety of aircraft a Naval Air Station is additionally tasked with replenishing, extending repair and maintenance support, turning around aircraft and squadron personnel on board air capable ships. These huge sprawling complexes, which are also home to cutting edge technologies, require a special organisational set up which is unlike any other shore establishment.
Command of a Naval Air Station is one of the most challenging assignments in naval aviation, as challenging perhaps as the Command of an Aircraft Carrier except that the Station does not have rudders, engines and a sailing schedule to follow. It is often said that an Air Station never sleeps. It actually never does.
Though a day in an Air Station never ends, it does start with a comprehensive flight briefing at the Station Briefing room, ‘a must attend’ for all aviators. This is followed by a look over at all aircrew by the station Aerospace Medicine Specialist. The Squadron briefing follows the Station briefing, which sets the pace for the day for all aircrew. The Squadrons conduct their daily flying according to a planned training schedule, which is directly monitored and controlled by the Capt/Cdr (Air), to ensure air space management and conduct of safe flying.
The Air Electrical Department (ALD) and Air Engineering Department (AED) provide specialist aircraft maintenance and servicing. They also form the nodal agencies at the Air Station for consultancy and coordination for various modifications, defect investigations and indigenisation efforts. Naval Air Stations also serves as the finishing school for air technical personnel in their OJT. On Job Training for the air technical personnel at their respective squadrons in an air station is akin to a „baptism by fire‟ where all their theoretical knowledge is tested and taught in the right atmosphere of Naval Aviation. Embarked Naval Aviation tolerates and accepts no margin of errors. This culture is tutored to the young maintainers by the experienced air mechanics day in and day out.