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AP: Airstrip for emergency landing of aircraft set up at Bapatla

Hyderabad: An airstrip for the emergency landing of aircrafts (ELF) has come up on National Highway No 16 near Addanki in Bapatla district, Andhra Pradesh. The 4.1 kilometre long and 33 meter wide concrete airstrip has been constructed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and is nearing completion.

Two such airstrips are already operational in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. This ELF in Andhra Pradesh would be the first one to be operational in peninsular India.

To check out the feasibility of operations from the emergency landing of aircrafts ELF, IAF fighter and transport aircrafts from Southern Air Command successfully carried out overshoots on the strip on Thursday as part of trials.

Presently the emergency landing strip is not fully ready for facilitating landing, said a press note from the Press Information Bureau (defence wing). The trials by IAF on Thursday were towards ascertaining the feasibility of landing. It would be inaugurated once it is fully ready, the release added.

The highway for ELF stretches will be blocked in case of an emergency and put to use exclusively for the landing of aircraft. The airstrips can be used for strategic purposes as well as during natural calamities for rescue and relief operations.

Air Force Station Suryalanka, being the nearest IAF air base from the ELF, will facilitate activation of the airstrip in coordination with the district administration and state police as per requirement.

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