PM Modi inaugurates Sikkim's first Airport: Details here
Nine years after its foundation stone was laid, the stunning Pakyong Airport in Sikkim was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.
Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Sikkim, said during the inauguration that the airport would significantly improve connectivity, and would benefit people in the state.
The Pakyong Airport was constructed by the Airports Authority of India.
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The Pakyong Airport is located 4,500 feet above sea level
The Pakyong Airport is perched on top of a hill, about 2km above Pakyong village, and is spread over an area of 201 acres.
The Rs. 605.59cr airport is the Northeast's first greenfield airport and, keeping in mind the 4,500 feet altitude at which it is located, has been skilfully engineered to include slope stabilization and soil reinforcement techniques.
Modi: Pakyong is a symbol of India's engineering prowess
"I want to congratulate all the engineers and workers who planned and built this airport. Pakyong Airport is the symbol of our engineering skills," said PM Modi during the inauguration.
All test runs for the Airport have been completed
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.
IAF will soon be able to land various aircraft
The Pakyong Airport is India's 100th functional airport, and has a 1.75km long runway with a width of 30m. Notably, the upcoming construction of a 75m stretch adjacent to the main runway will allow the Indian Air Force (IAF) to land various aircraft in Sikkim.
Commercial flight operations to start very soon
Now that the inauguration is complete, SpiceJet is all set to operate flights to and fro Delhi, Kolkata, and Guwahati every day using its 78-seater Bombardier Q400 planes.
The flights will be under the government's Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme, and thus, fares are expected to be affordable.
Notably, there are plans to introduce international flights too, in the near future.