The central government is looking to establish 29 airstrips on National Highways at strategic locations to cater to emergency landings by Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fighter aircraft, reports Hindustan Times.
The locations considered for the proposed airstrips are near highways and roads close to the international border in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Manipur and West Bengal. Three more may be constructed in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh which are affected by Naxal violence.
Emergency airstrips are also under consideration for Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The plan has been in the works since 2016 when the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2016 created an inter-ministerial joint committee along with the Ministry of Defence and the IAF, to examine the feasibility of these airstrips and come up with the technical details for setting them up.
The IAF and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) were given the task of inspecting the possible sites for these airstrips. Read More