A stretch of expressway or highway being used for emergency landing and take-off is seen in countries such as Germany, Poland, Sweden, South Korea, Taiwan, Finland, Switzerland, Singapore, Czechoslovakia and Pakistan. This is for the first time it has happened in India.
In 2015, Indian Air Force fighter jets landed on a public runway for the first time. At that time, the runway used for landing was the Delhi-Agra Expressway. Today, the fighter jets have once again landed on a public runway. This time it is the new Agra-Lucknow Expressway, which is also the longest expressway in the country.
This also marked the official inauguration of new Agra-Lucknow expressway. A fleet of 6 IAF fighter jets (3 Mirage-2000 & 3 SU-30) landed on the specially constructed stretch of the expressway. This special stretch is 3.3 l long and is arrow-straight, and perfectly levelled. It is without any electric poles, masts, flyovers, or mobile phone towers.
Portable ground lighting system have been installed for landing jets at night. These can be easily removed and placed on the roadside after landing or takeoff. The particular stretch of road will also be thicker than normal while dividers will be such that they can be easily removed. The make-shift runway is also in a close vicinity to fire brigade, police outposts and world class hospital. The cost of the 3.3 km stretch has been bored by the IAF.
Overall, Agra-Lucknow expressway will be 308 kms in length and the project is to be built at an expected cost of INR 13,000 crores. It will pass through Firozabad, Shikohabad, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kannauj and Mohanlalganj. This new runway, will reduce Lucknow-Delhi travel time to just 5 hours, half then what it usually takes now.