Sun, Oct 23, 2016 | updated 01:21 PM IST

Pasighat advanced landing ground in Arunachal becomes operational

Updated: Aug 20, 2016 00:45 IST

Shillong, Aug. 19 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Friday inaugurated an Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh in presence of Air Marshal C. Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-chief (AOC-in-C), Eastern Air Command.

Widening its communication, now Pasighat in East Siang District is connected by air with rest part of the world. Spectacular landing of Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jet has proven the strength of IAF.

The event was attended by a large number of civil and military dignitaries, including the Chief Secretary and Secretary Civil Aviation Arunachal Pradesh and Air Vice Marshal Manavendra Singh, Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration, Eastern Air Command Shillong, said a Ministry of Home Affairs statement.

A flypast by a formation of three Sukhoi-30 MKI Air Dominance Fighter aircraft, which took off from one of the forward EAC airbases was a highlight of the event, followed by a Su-30MKI also landing at the ALG.

The touchdown by a frontline fighter jet of the IAF at the ALG is a 'historic first' in the predominantly hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has several ALGs at varying altitudes.

The new runway surface and other infrastructure built are similar to the other upgraded ALGs that have been inaugurated in the recent months. Replete with facilities such as aprons for ground manoeuvring, Air Traffic Control Tower, perimeter road and a security wall, the ALG will facilitate operations of fixed wing aircraft as well as helicopters of both civil and military operators.

The Pasighat ALG will facilitate air connectivity with rest of the country and give a huge fillip to tourism in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The pristine and picturesque landscape of Pasighat, on the banks of river Siang, will become accessible to rest of the world.

The unspoilt natural beauty of the area is sure to attract many a tourist, which in turn will usher in a new round of prosperity and happiness for the local population. AAI is in the process of setting up a civil terminal, the construction of which has yet to commence. Now, the need of the hour is for all agencies to get together and make it happen.

The ALG at Pasighat was taken over by the IAF in February2010. Previously, it was small strip that was partly paved, partly grassy, and reinforced with perforated steel plates. It was utilised in the past for air maintenance sorties and casualty evacuation by the IAF. Commercial helicopter operations were also being undertaken from the helipads that existed earlier.

Following an MoU between the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the Ministry of Defence in June 2009, the IAF had embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan to upgrade eight ALGs, including infrastructure development at an overall outlay of nearly Rs. 1,000 crores.

The ALGs a Walong, Ziro, Along, Mechuka and Pasighat have since been upgraded and are operational now. Two ALGs at Tuting and Tawang are expected to be ready by the year end, while the ALG at Vijaynagar would undertake for reconstruction as soon as the road connectivity between Miao and Vijaynagar is restored. (ANI)