Panaji, Oct 21 | Buildings in close proximity of the Dabolim international airport, without a formal nod from the Indian Navy, pose a threat, both to the security of the INS Hansa naval base, from where the airport functions, and to the safety of the aircraft using the facility, the Indian Navy has said in a statement issued on Monday.
In its statement, the Indian Navy has also said that the fears raised by local politicians against the implementation of a 2015 notification of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, which stipulates the need for a no objection certificate (NOC) from the operating authority of an aerodrome — in case of Goa, the Indian Navy whose base hosts the Dabolim airport — for constructions within the 20 km from the runway, were unfounded.
“There are a few specific constructions in the immediate vicinity of Dabolim airport, which are extremely detrimental to safe flying as well as security of this important airbase. These buildings have not sought NOC from the Indian Navy as required by the Government of India rules. The matter has been brought to the notice of the state government of Goa and is being addressed suitably,” the statement said.
Over the last week, Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai had accused the Navy of trying to interfere in the state administration affairs, by citing the 2015 notification and harassing those who were constructing homes and other buildings within 20 km of the runway.
Godinho also said that it would be impossible to seek NOCs from the Navy officials, because of lack of access for civilians to the naval enclaves.
“It is also clarified that a person does not need to visit naval premises for NOC purpose, since NOC applications are forwarded to the Navy through local administration i.e., Panchayat and Municipality. Hence restricted entry into naval areas does not impose any constraints or cause any difficulty to the applicant,” the Indian Navy said in its statement.
The statement also said, that since the Central government notification stipulates that an NOC needs to be sought from the operating authority of a particular aerodrome, prior to any construction within 20 kms from the runway and since the Dabolim aviation facility is a dual use airfield for civil and military purposes and the Indian Navy is the aerodrome operating authority, the requirement of NOC from the naval authorities is being pursued only in accordance with existing the Ministry of Civil Aviation guidelines.
“The purpose of the NOC is to examine the merit of each case and ensure no construction jeopardises flight safety in the interest of tourists, local population etc.,” the statement also said.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is expected to convene a meeting of government agencies and the Indian Navy to resolve the issue on October 22.