India's 1st emergency landing strip on highway to be inaugurated in Barmer today
In October 2017, fighter jets and transport planes of the Air Force conducted mock landings on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway to show that such highways can be used by the IAF planes for landing in case of an emergency.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari will inaugurate an emergency landing strip at Gandhav Bhakasar section on National Highway-925 in Barmer, Rajasthan, on Thursday for Indian Air Force (IAF) planes.
An IAF plane, carrying the two ministers, will conduct a mock emergency landing on the national highway. Singh, the Union defence minister, will also visit Jaisalmer where he will interact with IAF personnel.
"Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh will be visiting Barmer and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan tomorrow. He will review the operations, attend the MRSAM induction ceremony and also interact with the IAF personnel stationed in Jaisalmer," Singh's office posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
This is the first time that a national highway (NH-925) will be used for emergency landing of IAF aircraft.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has developed a 3-km section of Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A, as an emergency landing facility (ELF) for the IAF. It is part of a newly developed two lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav section having a total length of 196.97 km. The project will cost ₹765.52 crore under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.
In October 2017, fighter jets and transport planes of the IAF had conducted mock landings on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway to show that such highways can be used by the IAF planes for landing in case of an emergency.
The Lucknow-Agra Expressway is a state highway and comes under the Uttar Pradesh government.
Apart from the Emergency Landing Strip, 3 helipads (size 100 x 30 metres each) have been constructed in Kundanpura, Singhania and Bakhasar villages in this project, according to the requirements of the Air Force/Indian Army, which will be the basis for strengthening the Indian Army and security network on the western international border of the country.