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Hit by Delhi airport expansion plan,R&AW air base set to be shifted

The high-security air base of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC),the aviation wing of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW),is likely to be relocated due to the proposed expansion of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport

Written by Appu Esthose Suresh | New Delhi |
October 8, 2012 3:14:02 am

The high-security air base of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC),the aviation wing of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW),is likely to be relocated due to the proposed expansion of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and planned construction of new cargo and MRO (maintenance,repair and overhauling) facilities.

The ARC is meant for gathering imagery intelligence and handling sensitive airborne operations. With its Delhi airbase located on 28 acres of land close to the busy road that connects Terminal-3 with Terminal-1,the increased security threat to its fleet,hangar and installations is being seen as a serious problem.

A few months ago,senior officials of DIAL (Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd) put forward the relocation proposal to ARC. A series of meetings have been held since then,which have also been attended by senior officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Sources said both ARC and DIAL officials have visited an alternate site,although a firm written proposal is yet to be sent to the government. The proposed site — of approximately the same size as the present ARC hub — is located close to the Air Force technical area which hosts VVIP flights.

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Senior R&AW officials said DIAL had earlier indicated that the relocation cost should be shared. But the clear understanding at this stage is that DIAL must bear the entire cost of construction of a new hangar and block of buildings on specifications drawn by ARC.

“While we admit that the new location would be better for us from the security point of view,we have made it clear that since DIAL wants us to shift from our existing location,it will bear the entire cost,” said the R&AW official.

“We are hoping that the relocation project will come through since the ARC appears to be satisfied with the proposed site. Getting the land vacated will help us in our Phase III expansion plans… It will all be done in a manner beneficial to both parties,and keeping in mind the sensitivity of ARC operations,” said a DIAL official.

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