India: Work begins to allow emergency air force landings on highways

Authorities have identified 28 strategic locations across nine states


A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 3:49 PM

Civil work has begun in some locations identified by the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

A total of 28 locations in various states— Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu— have been identified for the development of emergency landing strips, according to media reports on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently flown in an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, which landed on the Purvanchal Expressway in Uttar Pradesh. The purpose of the flight was to demonstrate the potential of such landings on highways. Developing emergency landing facilities is also a part of the PM Gati Shakti - National Master Plan.

The IAF has been using certain straight stretches of national highways for emergency landings in recent years.

"These operations increase the flexibility in the use of air power...In addition, the use of transport aircraft for quick insertion of forces for human assistance and disaster relief into civil areas and special forces in case of contingencies has been validated," an official IAF statement read.


Media reports also indicate that work on the 3.5-km-long strip in southern Kashmir is almost complete. It will have parking slots for four aircrafts, an air traffic control tower, and two gates at both ends.

Many countries in Asia and Europe, including South Korea, Germany, and Sweden, have similar facilities to allow emergency landings on highways.

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