SHILONG: The operational capability of the Indian Air Force got a major fillip with the re-launching of two upgraded Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) at Ziro and Along in Arunachal Pradesh.
Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command said the facilities will further enhance the country's existing operational capabilities in Eastern Air Command, a defence release said today.
He said the capacity build-up will enable operations by some of the country's new inductions including the C-130J Super Hercules.
Besides enhancing air maintenance capability of the IAF in the region, the new airfield will also facilitate civil air connectivity soon, the Air Marshal was quoted as saying.
He also inaugurated the ALG at Along on the same day, according to the release.
The IAF took over the Ziro airfield from Airports Authority of India (AAI) in August 2010.
Consequent to the CCS approval in June 2009, the IAF embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan to upgrade the existing eight ALGs, including infrastructure development at certain airbases in EAC's area of responsibility.
The ALGs for upgradation include Tuting, Mechuka, Along, Tawang, Ziro, Pasighat, Walong and Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh.
Besides IAF, which operates all year round, at the ALG at Along, Pawan Hans also operates helicopters from here during non-monsoon periods.
With the inauguration of the ALGs at Ziro and Along, altogether three ALGs have since got upgraded.
The new runway surfaces and other infrastructures are being built to the exacting standards for any other modern airfield in the country.
Earlier, the ALG at Walong was inaugurated in October last year.
Three more ALGs -- Mechuka, Pasighat, Tuting – are scheduled to be inaugurated in the next three months, the PRO said.
The ALG project at Tawang, is ongoing and expected to be ready this year, the release said.
The commencement of upgradation of ALG at Vijaynagar is expected to take much longer as there is no proper road connectivity from Miao to Vijaynagar for carrying materials, machinery and manpower.
The issue has been taken up at the appropriate levels by IAF authorities with the government of Arunachal Pradesh for an early resolution, it said.