The Coast Guard headquarters of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam is likely to get its own air enclave by 2018. At present, the deployment of Coast Guard aircraft was being done from Chennai or Bhubaneshwar.
On the occasion of 40th Coast Guard day, Deputy Inspector General of Indian Coast Guard Commander Anil Kumar Harbola said that the air enclave of the force in Visakhapatnam will be ready by 2018.
If things fell into place, the land required for the air enclave will be allotted by June 2017. According to him, around 10 acres had already been identified near the Visakhapatnam airport, which was required for setting up the air enclave.
Coast Guard was initiated in 1977 with seven boats and now there were as many as 162 ships which include Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel, Offshore Patrol Vessel, Pollution Control Vessel. The air arm consisted of 62 aircraft, including Dorniers, Dhruv, and a few other maritime surveillance aircraft. The Andhra Pradesh coast Guard, which currently consists of 13 ships and 1 aircraft, will soon get two interceptor boats and four Dornier air surveillance aircraft to increase its security dimension in view of the increasing economic activity in the Bay of Bengal.
DIG of Indian Coast Guard Anil Kumar Harbola said Coast Guard had asked Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) for a berth to temporarily station the new vessels before their own jetty is extended by another 200 meters, which will take at least two years.
As part of the 40th Coast Guard Day, a series of events such as painting competition for school children and boat race for fishermen were held during the week.