In a first, a Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Thursday successfully landed on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura as part of trials to use national highways for emergency landing.
The aircraft landed 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 Thursday’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.