You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!


India’s Indian Air Force (IAF) is bolstering its operational capabilities in the strategically significant Ladakh region by constructing a second runway at the Leh airbase. This project aims to address the increasing air traffic and ensure uninterrupted operations in the face of potential border tensions.

Military and civilian air traffic at Leh has seen a significant rise in recent years. However, harsh climatic conditions, particularly the thin air at high altitudes, restrict flight operations primarily to mornings.

Previously, civilian flights were limited, and military operations mainly involved transport aircraft and helicopters. The current situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has led to a surge in fighter jet and attack helicopter operations. Different fighter jets like Rafale, MiG-29, Su-30, and Apache fighters, deployed at other bases, are regularly rotated through Leh.

The additional runway will cater to this increased air traffic, guaranteeing smoother operation flow. This is particularly crucial to avoid situations like last year, where a stranded C-17 transport aircraft blocked the runway for two days, potentially hindering critical missions during border tensions.

The Leh airbase plays a pivotal role in maintaining India’s military presence along the LAC and Siachen. Heavy lifter aircraft like C-17, IL-76, and Chinook, along with smaller transport planes like the AN-32, maintain a constant air bridge to this high-altitude base. These aircraft ferry troops, supplies, weapons, and equipment, especially during harsh winters when road access becomes impossible. The existing paved runway north of the base, along with landing grounds at Daulat Beg Oldi, Fukche, and the upgraded Nyoma airstrip, all contribute to this critical air logistics network.