President arrives in Goa for 3-day visit

He will present the President’s Colour to naval aviation

President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Goa on Sunday for his three-day-long visit to the state, during which he is scheduled to take part in an event organised by the Navy.

An aircraft carrying Mr. Kovind arrived at Dabolim airport in the afternoon, from where he was flown in a helicopter to Bambolim helipad. He was welcomed by state Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar and Protocol Minister Mauvin Godinho there.

Mr. Kovind will present the President’s Colour to naval aviation on Monday morning during the event being hosted by INS Hansa, a naval air station located near Dabolim.

"The event coincides with the diamond jubilee of INS Hansa and the liberation of Goa," a Navy spokesman said in a media release here.

The Naval Jet Flight set up at Coimbatore in 1958 with Sea Hawk, Alize and Vampire aircraft, was later commissioned as INS Hansa on September 5, 1961. After the liberation of Goa, Dabolim airfield was taken over by the Navy in April 1962 and INS Hansa was shifted to Dabolim in June 1964.

"Commissioned as a modest air station with only a few aircraft, INS Hansa has increased its prowess over the last six decades and is presently operating over 40 military aircraft, clocking an average yearly flying of over 5,000 hours. The air station also supports civil aviation by handling domestic and international flights 24×7, with an average of 29,000 flights in a year," the spokesman said.

INS Hansa is the abode of the Indian Navy’s frontline air squadrons – INAS 310 ‘Cobras’ with Dornier-228 aircraft, INAS 315 ‘Winged Stallions’ with the long range maritime patrol aircraft IL-38SD, INAS 339 ‘Falcons’ with the airborne early warning Kamov-31 helicopter; INAS 303 ‘Black Panthers’ and INAS 300 ‘ White Tigers’ with the supersonic carrier-borne MiG 29K fighters, and INAS 323 ‘Harriers’ with ALH Mk III helicopters, he said.

"The air station will soon operate the Boeing P8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft with the commissioning of INAS 316," the spokesman added.

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