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A Naval Air Enclave (NAE) which will help the Navy to enhance surveillance of Western Coast was on Wednesday inaugurated at the Cochin International Airport here by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba.
The setting up of a NAE will facilitate the operations of Boeing P8I aircraft from CIAL to enhance surveillance of area around the Western Coast and the strategically critical Lakshdweep and Minicoy Islands, a Navy release said.
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It would also enable timely assistance to be rendered to the neighbouring countries who share friendly and ancient ties with India.
The air enclave would be utilised to accommodate and operate aircraft which cannot be operated from naval airstation INS Garuda due to inadequate runway length available.
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Lanba said the inauguration of the NAE again revives the bond between the Navy and civil operators which came to a halt with the shifting of civil air operations to Nedumbassery.
The naval air station at Garuda is limited in its operations due to space restrictions, bird menace due to very dense human habitation in vicinity and growing obstructions around the airfield.
Admiral Lanba, who arrived in Kochi on Tuesday, left after the ceremony, the release said.