Sikkim's stunning Pakyong airport is all set for inauguration
Perched between misty mountains at a height of 4,500ft, Sikkim's first airport is all set to be inaugurated on September 23 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The state's first airport will enable great connectivity for tourism and is expected to have multidimensional benefits for Sikkim.
It will also become India's 100th functional airport once normal flight operations begin.
Here are the details.
The airport is Sikkim's ticket to good connectivity
The greenfield airport is the Northeast's first and, keeping in mind the altitude at which it is located, has been skilfully engineered to include slope stabilization and soil reinforcement techniques.
The airport was built at a cost of Rs. 605.59cr and will connect Sikkim not only to parts of India, but will also gradually provide international flight services to countries like Thailand, Nepal etc.
Greenfield airports have their own beauty, says Sikkim minister
"Greenfield airports have their own beauty and merits. You will experience them when flights start operating. Moreover, the airport will have multi-dimensional benefits for Sikkim which will gradually come to the fore with time," said the Sikkim government's civil aviation minister Gyatso Bhutia.
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Following test runs, security clearance for commercial operations was granted
Earlier this year, in early March, a Dornier 228 turboprop plane belonging to the India Air Force (IAF) took off from Pakyong as a test flight from the airport.
Subsequently, on March 10, SpiceJet conducted its own test runs using a 78-seater Bombardier Q400 to fly between Pakyong and Kolkata.
Following SpiceJet's tests, security clearance for commercial operations was granted to Pakyong.
Commercial operations to start from October 8
After PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the Pakyong airport by flying down to it on September 23, commercial operations are set to begin.
From October 8, SpiceJet will operate daily flights between Pakyong and Kolkata under the government's UDAN scheme aimed at getting more Indians airborne.
Thus, fares for the Kolkata-Pakyong flight will be pegged at just Rs. 2,600.
Most asked questions
When will the Pakyong airport open?
Askedby Reeta Pandey