India plans to build 11 emergency airstrips on its national highways

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Indian airplane landing on Yamuna Expressway in 2015. Photo Credits: Times of India

  • India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will set up 13 emergency landing airstrips including 11 strips on the its national highways.
  • The road runway is aimed at providing faster transport services via air during natural calamities that block the rail and road connectivity.
  • The first such strip will be set up in Gujarat on National Highway number 151.
India’s is planning to set up emergency landing airstrips on 11 national highways across the country. The move is aimed at easing efforts during natural calamities and emergency situations.

The government has prepared a standard design for the road runway. The airstrips will span over 5-6 kilometres on a 60-metre wide concrete road. They will have parking slots for four aircraft, two gates at either ends of the strip and an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower.

The road runways are aimed at reaching out to the affected areas in the fastest possible time in case of natural calamities such as earthquakes or floods when air connectivity is the only viable option.The government plans to remove the hindrance caused by the electric poles, trees and dividers.

According to the country’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the landing airstrips will cost about ₹836.6 million. The project will be managed by the Indian Air Force (IAF), India’s Ministry of Defence and its transport ministry.

Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, reportedly said that the first such strip will be set up in Gujarat on National Highway number 151 near Khambhaliya of Devbhumi Dwarka district.

Other states to have such airstrips include West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Odisha.


Mandaviya also said that the government has potentially identified 13 roads across seven states that can have emergency landing. Two of these roads fall under state control while the remaining are under the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), The Hindu reported.

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