A Mirage 2000 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force landed successfully on the Agra Yamuna Expressway as part of a trial run on Thursday morning. This trial exercise was to test whether the national highways can be used for emergency landings.
The fighter jet soared down the highway and smoothly landed before taking off again.
The aircraft landed at about 6:40 AM, senior IAF officers said, adding that the force has plans to activate more such stretches on highways in the future.
The IAF has been considering the use of national highways for emergency landing by fighter aircraft.
For today's trial, all facilities like make shift Air Traffic Control, safety services, rescue vehicles, bird clearance parties and other requirements were set in place by the IAF.
"The operation was conducted in coordination with District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of Agra and Mathura," an IAF statement said.
The aircraft first made a practice approach on the highway coming down to 100 metres before landing on the next approach.
IAF officials said such landings can be carried out in emergencies if an active airport is not available under certain circumstances.
TV reports had said that this is the first road runway in India, and preparations were being made for emergency landing in strategic areas. Mumbai and Mangalore are also being considered are strategic locations where these landings can happen. The IAF had also been carrying out trial exercises for a couple of days.
Trial run for an Air Force aircraft landing carried out on Yamuna Expressway (UP) https://t.co/HlaL81i9NF
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 21, 2015
On the ground, an Air Force helicopter took many rounds in the air before Mirage 2000 landed on the runway, NDTV reports. Several IAF personneln were present on the spot of landing to monitor the exercise.
For those who don't follow - IAF Mirage 2000's have been making trial runs all over UP for several weeks to find alternate landing sites.
— Manu Pubby (@manupubby) May 21, 2015
Whoa! IAF lands aircraft on the Delhi-Agra Yamuna Expressway. Keeping with nationwide drill to identify alternate, emergency landing sites.
— Jugal R Purohit (@jrpur) May 21, 2015
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Updated Date: May 21, 2015 21:19:13 IST