To assess the usability of an expressway as a runway, the Indian Air force carried out an emergency landing exercise on the Yamuna Expressway – the highway that connects Agra to New Delhi. An IAF Mirage 2000 landed on the cordoned off expressway, stayed on it for a few seconds (The minimum landing distance of a Mirage 2000 is 2,000 feet) and then took off. The entire exercise took place this morning and was declared a success by the IAF.
Runways are expected to have acceptable friction characteristics in order to ensure safe landings. The successful landing highlights the quality of construction of the Yamuna Expressway. The Indian Air Force plans to conduct similar exercises on other highways across the country to evaluate the stretches where it can land its fighter jets. This also improves accessibility for IAF as it can land planes in areas that would normally require a dedicated runway.
Watch the video of the landing here:
Many countries have allocated certain sections of their expressways for landing air force planes in emergency situations and India plans to follow suit.