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Indian Air Force Conducts Successful Operations on Emergency Landing Facility Airstrip

Indian Air Force Conducts Successful Operations on Emergency Landing Facility Airstrip

Bapatla: In a demonstration of seamless coordination between civil agencies and the Indian Air Force (IAF), fighter and transport aircraft carried out operations on an Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) airstrip situated on National Highway 16 near Addanki in Bapatla district, Andhra Pradesh. The activation, which took place on 18th March 2024, showcased the capability and readiness of the IAF to utilize unconventional airstrips for strategic purposes.

During the operation, Su-30 and Hawk fighters executed successful overshoots, while An-32 and Dornier transport aircraft landed and subsequently took off from the ELF airstrip. The activation highlighted the efficient synergy between the IAF and various civil agencies including the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), district administration, state police, and other stakeholders.

Constructed by the NHAI to precise specifications provided by the IAF, the 4.1-kilometer long and 33-meter wide concrete airstrip on National Highway 16 serves as a crucial asset for emergency air operations. While similar airstrips exist across the country, this ELF in Andhra Pradesh marks a recent addition to the operational network, bolstering air force capabilities in the peninsular region.

Emergency Landing Facility highway airstrips play a pivotal role in enhancing the flexibility of air operations during contingencies and serve as invaluable assets during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in remote and inaccessible areas. Recognizing their significance, the IAF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), continues to identify and develop suitable locations for the establishment of ELF airstrips nationwide.

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