IAF operationalises Pasighat advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh

The Indian Air Force has operationalised the upgraded advanced landing ground (ALG) at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, across the border from China, further boosting its operational reach from the North East region.

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju formally inaugurated the much-awaited ALG at Pasighat in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday, opening a new chapter in the state's connectivity with the rest of the country and widening its communication network.

The inauguration was marked by the spectacular landing of Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jets at an event witnessed by Air Chief Marshal Hari Kumar, Air Force Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, and large number of civil and military dignitaries, including legendary Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle.

With facilities such as aprons for ground manouevering, air traffic control tower, perimeter road and a security wall, the upgraded ALG will facilitate operations of fixed wing aircraft as well as helicopters of both civil and military operators.

The ALG at Pasighat will facilitate air connectivity with rest of the country and give a huge fillip to tourism in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is in the process of setting up a civil terminal, the construction of which has yet to commence.

The ALG at Pasighat was taken over by the IAF in February 2010.

Previously, it was small strip that was partly paved, partly grassy, 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.

The IAF had embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan to upgrade eight ALGs in the state, including infrastructure development at an overall outlay of nearly Rs1,000 crore.

The ALGs at 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 construction of the ALG at Vijaynagar would be undertake as soon as the road connectivity between Miao and Vijaynagar is restored.