Ziro ALG can be bigger: EAC chief
Eastern Command Air Marshal Balakrishnan Manikantan at Ziro ALG

Ziro: Indian Air Force Eastern Air Command Air Marshal Balakrishnan Manikantan said the advanced landing ground (ALG) in Ziro has the potential to become bigger as well as a role model ALG of the state if the required parameters are met.

The Air Marshal who visited the Ziro ALG on Thursday had a series of discussions with the Lower Subansiri district administration on various issues affecting the ALG and the hindrances from making it one of the most functional airstrips in the state.

Among others, the construction of a few high-rise buildings near the ALG, boundary and extension of the runway were the key issues discussed during the meeting.

The Air Marshal requested the district administration to explore the possibilities of extending the present runway with suitable compensation to the affected landowners.

Earlier, while according a warm welcome to the Air Marshal, Lower Subansiri deputy commissioner Bamin Nime urged him to facilitate holding orientation courses for the educated unemployed tribal candidates of the district to be recruited in various technical and non-technical posts of the Indian Air Force.

“Similar to Army Brigade headquarters of West Kameng and Tawang which provide free coaching to the tribal students for entry into Sainik Schools and later the NDA, the Indian Air Force should also facilitate and provide free orientation courses to our educated youths so that they are able to face interviews and get recruited in the IAF,” said Nime.

The Air Marshal agreed to the DC’s request in principle.

Also speaking during the meeting, Wing Commander (Retd) Gyati Kago said that the present runway of the ALG is 1.3 km which is feasible for a small aircraft like 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 meters of land at the northern side for a bigger and more comfortable ATR aircraft to land,” Kago said.

He further informed that another 2.5 acres of land would be required for a bigger and better civil terminal.

Informing the house about the differences between a small 16-seater Dornier and 50-seater ATR aircraft, Kago said the Dornier aircraft cannot fly above 12,000 feet, does not have an instrument landing facility and are devoid of comforts normally associated with a passenger plane including a 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, said Kago.

Among others, Lower Subansiri SP Sachin Singhal, DMO Dr Tage Kanno, ALG constructing agency headed by EE PWD Likha Togu and ALG nodal officer Hage were present in the meeting. 

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