With the first successful landing of an AN-32 at Nyoma airstrip in eastern Ladakh, the IAF is all set to convert the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) into a full-fledged airbase for fixed wing transport aircraft in the next couple of years.
The work on converting the Nyoma airstrip, just 23 km from Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, into an airbase, where the AN-32s can be based and operated, had already begun, IAF officials said in New Delhi on Sunday.
The ALG already operates helicopters from Nyoma, which is the third such ALG to come up in Ladakh region after Daulat Beg Oldi in northern Ladakh and Fuk Che in eastern Ladakh.
"Once the Nyoma airbase comes up, it will be the first operational transport airbase of the IAF in eastern Ladakh," the officials said.
The IAF already has an airbase in Leh, which can operate all types of aircraft -- fighters, heavy lift and medium lift transport, apart from rotary wing.
One more airstrip at Chushul is in the offing, though work on laying the compacted runway there is yet to begin, they said.