Modernisation of airfields has to be taken up on priority basis
Force Magazine - National Security and Aerospace Newsmagazine
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Serious Concern

Modernisation of airfields has to be taken up on priority basis

Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd) Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd)

Military airfields and civil airports have come a long way since aircraft used to operate from grass-strips or semi-prepared surfaces. A military air base (also referred to as a military airfield, air force station, or air force base) is an aerodrome used by a military for the operation of military aircraft.

Every facet of military airfield like the operating surfaces, navigational aids, security infrastructure, emergency handling vehicles and gadgets, flight safety wherewithal, radars, communication and signal equipment, technical and maintenance facilities, fuel and weapon storage, and operational bunkers have all seen a quantum jump in technology and in turn operational efficiency.

For decades the Indian Air Force (IAF) used to ask the foreign aircraft manufacturers to remove the airborne components of latest navigation aids because India could not afford across-the-board ground infrastructure for the same. Things have since changed. The IAF went in for a comprehensive upgrade of its airfield infrastructure in a project termed Modernisation of Air Field Infrastructure (MAFI). Also, the IAF chose to upgrade the Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) in the mountains in the North-East. In view of the burgeoning civil aviation, many IAF airfields have begun dual use operations. New airfields are also being created because of changing threat scenario. Undoubtedly, the airfield modernisation has a force multiplier effect.

Operating Surfaces
The pavement classification number (PCN) is an ICAO standard, which when combined with the aircraft classification number (ACN) indicates the strength of a runway, taxiway and aircraft aprons for safe operations of the aircraft landing thereon.

Serious Concern

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