IAF conducts touchdown exercise on Lucknow-Agra Expressway, 20 aircraft participate in first such drill

As many as 20 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), including AN-32 transport, Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi 30 MKI, are making a touchdown on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway on Tuesday.

With such an "touchdown" exercise, India has joined China, Germany and Sweden to become the first country to do so.

Twenty aircraft, including two AN-32 transport and fighter planes such as Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Sukhoi 30 MKI are taking part in the exercise.The AN-32 are meant for humanitarian assistance and relief operations during floods or any other natural calamity.

It is for the first time that any transport aircraft will "land and then take off", PRO, Defence (Central Command), Gargi Malik Sinha claimed on Monday.

The aircraft touchdown exercise is being conducted on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway near Bangarmau in the neighbouring Unnao district.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"The aircraft can bring a large amount of relief material. It can also help evacuate people," Sinha said.

The Lucknow-Agra Expressway will be closed for commuters from 10 am to 2 pm on 24 October.

To ensure a smooth conduct of the touchdown by IAF aircraft, traffic restrictions will be placed on the Agra- Lucknow Expressway for general public from 23 October to 24 October.

In a letter sent to district magistrate Unnao, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) Awanish Awasthi said that Indian Air Force was planning to conduct highways flying operations on 24 October on the airstrip of Agra- Lucknow Expressway in Unnao district.

The letter further said, "It is to bring to your notice that due to Diwali vacation, a lot of traffic is moving on the expressway.  The CEO asked the Unnao district magistrate to ensure that sufficient police force is deployed to control the public and movement of authorised vehicles on expressway and also take measures to ensure safe flying operations on the scheduled day from 8 am till 1 pm.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 24, 2017 10:41 AM

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