Highways in remote areas across the country may soon be used as aircraft runways as per a proposal put forth by the Union Road Ministry. This would allow lesser used highways in far-flung areas being put to use and allow for aircraft landing and takeoff where no airports exist.
Nitin Gadkari, speaking at the Integrated National Security even on Friday said that the government was in talks with the Defence Ministry to put highways in remote areas to use as runways. These highways which will also function as aircraft runways will be used for civilian and military aircrafts while such sites are being identified.
Even as the proposal is under consideration, a serious question that comes to mind is whether Indian roads are in a condition to be used for aircraft landing and takeoff. To this, Gadkari has stated that once these sites are identified, the national highways are anyway made of concrete and cement. Vehicular traffic would be stopped when an aircraft is about the land or takeoff while traffic will be allowed once this operation is complete.
Even with no sites identified at the moment, Gadkari has cited the possible use of highways across Arunachal Pradesh which could be put to use for such a proposal as road traffic is low.
In 2015, the Indian Air Force had used the Yamuna Expressway near Delhi for test landing the Mirage 2000 fighter jet as a part of emergency landing drill across national highways.