The fully refurbished Naval Aviation Museum at Dabolim, Goa, was dedicated to aviation enthusiasts on 04 April 2022 by Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil, Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area. In its new avatar, the museum leads visitors through a magnificent journey of naval aviation with much-enhanced features and newly-upgraded facilities. Speaking at the inaugural Rear Admiral said, “We thought it a fitting tribute to naval aviation that the museum include all the tributes and inductions. In 20 years after setting it up, technology has leap-frogged. So we went about setting up the aero engines sections. We changed the layout so that it catered to all. Truly hope the museum grows from strength to strength. We sent invites to all schools and free entry for underprivileged school. I didn’t take off due to the pandemic, but hope we have lots of children coming in.’
The museum is one-of-a-kind in Asia and has been suggested to be among the top five places to visit in Goa. It has won the ‘Travellers Choice Award’ by Trip Advisor in 2020. Started with a humble collection of eight aircraft in 1998, it has grown over the years, adding a wide variety of aircraft and other exhibits, and portraying the historic feats of naval aviation through slick audio-visual aids.
Reflecting the impressive transformation of naval aviation over the years, the museum’s carefully curated facilities include ‘Adhvan’ – a timeline history of naval aviation, ‘Adwitiya’ – a glimpse of air stations and squadrons of the Indian Navy, ‘Sashakt’ – a peek into aviation support units and ‘Vimaan’ – an elegant collection of contemporary and vintage aircraft models.
While the wall named ‘The First, The Legends’ celebrates trend-setters, ‘Drishti’ is a pictorial representation of air operations in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. There is a wall dedicated to ‘Goa Liberation’ as well.
The museum has ramps to assist the movement of differently-abled guests. It’s other amenities include Glass Cockpit Café, souvenir shop and dedicated parking space. Visitors can record their memories at ‘Vyuha’, the selfie corner and enjoy a panoramic view of the parked aircraft from ‘Kshitij’, the viewing gallery. For the aviation enthusiast, the Virtual Reality Corner provides a never-before thrill of a flying experience.