Indian Air Force’s first Emergency Landing Field

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Adding to the military infrastructure for air operations, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday inaugurated the first stretch of a National Highway to be developed as an Emergency Landing Field (ELF) for the Indian Air Force.

The ELF is on NH-925 at the Gandhav Bhakasar section, south of Barmer in Rajasthan, and will be used for aircraft operations during emergencies on the Western borders with Pakistan.

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A Hercules C-130J plane of the IAF, carrying the two ministers and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, conducted a mock emergency landing on the field.

The ELF is a 3 km section of the Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A and is part of the newly developed Bakhasar and Gandhav section. It has a total length of 196.97 km and has been constructed at the cost of Rs 765.52 crore under Bharatmala Pariyojana.

Apart from this ELF, three helipads (100 x 30 metres each) have been constructed in Kundanpura, Singhania and Bakhasar villages as part of this project according to the requirements of the Air Force/Army, which will be the basis for strengthening the military and security network on the Western borders.

Also, there are plans for constructing 20 such ELFs across the country, mostly along the borders.

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Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that the 19 other places in the country include Phalodi – Jaisalmer road and Barmer – Jaisalmer road in Rajasthan, Kharagpur – Balasore road in West Bengal, Kharagpur – Keonjhar road and near Panagarh/KKD, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, on Puducherry road, in Andhra Pradesh on Nellore – Ongole road and Ongole – Chilakaluripet road, in Haryana on Mandi Dabwali to Odhan road, near Sangrur in Punjab, on Bhuj-Naliya road in Gujarat and on Surat-Baroda road, in Jammu and Kashmir  in the Banihal-Srinagar road , Leh/Nyoma area in Assam and on the Jorhat-Baraghat road, near Sivasagar, Bagdogra-Hashimara road, Hashimara-Tezpur route and Hashimara-Guwahati road in Assam , Emergency Landing facilities will be developed.

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