ZIRO, 4 Nov: “The advanced landing ground (ALG) here in Lower Subansiri district has the potential to be bigger and a role model ALG in the state if the required parameters are met,” said Eastern Air Command Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Air Marshal Balakrishnan Manikantan here on Thursday.
During his maiden visit to the ALG, the air marshal held a discussion with the district administration on the various issues affecting the ALG (constructed in 2016) “and the hindrances in making the ALG one of the most coveted ALGs in the state.”
Among other things, the matters of a few high-rise buildings coming up near the ALG, the boundary issue, and extension of the runway were some of the key issues discussed during the meeting.
Manikantan requested the district administration to “explore the possibility of extension of the present runway with suitable compensation to the affected landowners.”
Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime urged the AOC to “facilitate holding an orientation course for prospective educated unemployed tribal candidates of the district to be recruited in various technical and non-technical posts in the Indian Air Force (IAF).”
“Similar to the army brigade headquarters of West Kameng and Tawang districts, which provide free coaching to tribal students for entry to sainik schools and later to the NDA, the IAF should also facilitate and provide free orientation courses to our educated unemployed youths to be able to face the interview and get recruited in the IAF,” the DC said.
The AOC agreed to the DC’s proposal in principle.
It may be mentioned here that the present runway of the ALG is 1.3 km, which is feasible for a small aircraft like a Dornier to land.
“The required runway for a bigger, 50-seater ATR aircraft is 1.5 km. Hence, the Ziro ALG is in need of another 200 metres of land at the northern side for a bigger and more comfortable ATR aircraft to land,” informed retired IAF wing commander Gyati Kago, adding that, “for a bigger and better civil terminal, another 2.5 acres of land is also required.”
Speaking about the differences between a 16-seater Dornier and a 50-seater ATR aircraft, Kago said that “Dornier aircraft cannot fly above 12,000 feet; do not have instrument landing facility, and are devoid of comforts normally associated with a passenger plane, including toilet.”
“On the other hand, the 50-seater ATR aircraft has all the latest facilities, instruments and comfort which would best suit Ziro if additional land is made available for extension of the present runway,” he explained. (DIPRO)