Sikkim’s Pakyong airport has received a green signal to start commercial flight operations from June thus bringing the state under country’s civil aviation network. This makes it the 100th operational airport once it begins operation. Sikkim was the only state without an operational airport in the country.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu announced the same on twitter.
The Pakyong (Gangtok) Airport at Sikkim got license today for scheduled operations. It’s an engineering marvel at a height of more than 4,500 ft in a tough terrain. Will pave way for direct air connectivity to our lovely state of Sikkim, giving boost to tourism & economic growth pic.twitter.com/qJT0YcGw5x
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) May 4, 2018
The Pakyong airport, at a height of 4,500 ft above sea level, is nearly 30 km from the capital Gangtok. Till now the travellers had to fly to Bagdogra in Siliguri for more than four hours by road to reach the capital, 123km away. Trials were conducted in March when a Spicejet Q400 Bombardier plane, with 70 passengers, took off from Kolkata at 10.40 am and landed reached Pakyong Airport at noon. The airport was built at a cost of about Rs. 350 crore and is no mean feat considering the difficult terrain and its geographical location.
Spicejet, the low-cost airline, has been granted the license to commence operations from Kolkata to Pakyong under the government’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik). Sikkim is a very attractive tourist spot and the new airport will surely encourage tourism in the state.