IAF activates Emergency Landing Facility Strip on national highway in Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi : The Indian Air Force has carried out an activation of an Emergency Landing Facility airstrip on a national highway in Andhra Pradesh’s Bapatla district, showcasing high level of “synergy and liaison” between the IAF and civil agencies.

The activation was conducted on March 18, a senior IAF official said on Tuesday.

The 4.1 km long and 33-m wide concrete airstrip has been constructed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) as per specifications provided by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) airstrips enhance flexibility of air operations during contingencies and are invaluable assets during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in far flung areas, IAF officials said.

“While other airstrips are already operational in various parts of the country, this ELF in Andhra Pradesh has been recently operationalised in peninsular India,” the IAF said.

On March 18, the IAF’s fighter and transport aircraft “carried out operations on an ELF airstrip on national highway-16 near Addanki in Bapatla district,” the official said.

“Su-30 and Hawk fighters successfully carried out overshoots during the activation, while An-32 and Dornier transport aircraft landed and subsequently took off from the strip,” the IAF said.

The activation showcased the “high level of synergy and liaison” between civil agencies such as NHAI, district administration, state police and the IAF towards conduct of complex multi-faceted activities, the official added.

Previously, such an activation was conducted on December 29, 2022.

The IAF along with the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is working jointly for creation of ELFs at suitable locations, they said.