Updated: September 9, 2021 1:24:29 pm
A Hercules C-130 J IAF plane, carrying Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Roadways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, conducted a mock emergency landing on the Satta-Gandhav stretch of National Highway 925 in Barmer, Rajasthan. The stretch, which will serve as an emergency landing strip for Indian Air Force planes, was inaugurated by the two Union Ministers on Thursday.
NH-925 is India’s first national highway to be used for emergency landing of IAF aircraft. The two ministers also witnessed a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet conducting a mock landing on the emergency landing facility.
Emergency Landing Facility on Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A near Barmer is being inaugurated. Watch https://t.co/MykNONmJQX
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 9, 2021
The 3-km landing strip, which is part of the Satta-Gandhav stretch on the NH-925, was developed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) specifically for the IAF to conduct emergency landings.
“Whenever an out-of-the-box idea is proposed, apprehensions emerge. But glad for the support from the Defence Ministry and Airforce that has led to the successful launch of this 3 km long road-cum-air strip,” Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said. “There’s no airport here in an area of around 350 kms. I told CDS Bipin Rawat that we can give land to build defence airport and a civil airport nearby. They have our full support.”
The emergency landing strip, which was inaugurated on Thursday, is part of the newly developed two-lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav section having a total length of 196.97 km and costing Rs 765.52 crore under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, PTI reported.
The strip will not solely be used for emergency landings. The service road will be used for the smooth flow of road traffic. It was constructed in 19 months, between July 2019 and January 2021.
Apart from the highway in Barmer, the IAF and NHAI are jointly studying 27 other highways to see if they can also be used as emergency landing strips, officials told PTI.
(With PTI inputs)
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