IAF conducts trial run of 5 helicopters for emergency landings


Srinagar, Apr 2: In a first, the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted an over-night trial run on the 3.5 km-long emergency landing facility constructed near Bijbehara in Anan-tnag district on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, officials said.
The exercise began around midnight and continued for over an hour on Tuesday, they said.
Five IAF helicopters, including the US-manufactured Chinook which was inducted in March last year, were part of the emergency drill.
The authorities had made elaborate security arrangements and insta-lled radars, CCTVs and other technical equipment to ensure a smooth trial.
The facility in south Kashmir would be used by the IAF for multiple scenarios such as war, floods, rescue operations, airdrop of relief materials, transportation of stranded people during disasters and other emergency needs.
Due to the trial run, the traffic department had banned the movement of heavy motor vehicles on the highway from 4 AM on Monday to 7 AM on Tues-day. The Light motor vehicles (LMVs) were diverted to the old national highway during this period.
The construction of the emergency landing facility along the highway at Bijbehara started in 2020 at the cost of Rs 119 crore and was completed in 2023.
The stretch was created as part of an IAF joint initiative with the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for the creation of at least 13 emergency landing facilities in different parts of the country that could be used during emergencies. The airstrip on the highway in south Kashmir has also parking slots for fighter Aircraft & also an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower.

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