Gangtok: Prime Narendra Modi on Monday will inaugurate Sikkim’s first and only airport – whose foundation stone was laid nine years back.
By improving the connectivity to the land-locked state nestled in the Himalayas, the airport is expected to give a boost to its tourism.
Until now, Sikkim was the only state in India remaining without a functional airport.
PM Modi in Gangtok
PM Modi landed in state capital Gangtok on Sunday in a helicopter where he was received by Governor Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. PM Modi will address people at a school in Pakyong after the inauguration of the airport.
“In Sikkim, I will be inaugurating the Pakyong Airport tomorrow, which will improve connectivity and benefit the people of Sikkim,” PM Modi tweeted on Sunday.
The first commercial flight from Pakyong would begin from October 4, Pakyong Airport Director R Manjunatha said. SpiceJet will operate 78-seater Bombardier Q400 flights to and fro Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati everyday.
100th operational airport in India
- The airport is spread over 201 acres and is located on top of a hill about two km above Pakyong village at 4,500 feet above sea level, Sikkim Chief Secretary AK Srivastava said.
- The airport was built at an estimated cost of Rs 605 crore and is an “engineering marvel” for its soil reinforcement and slope stabilisation techniques keeping in view the altitude it was built at, the officer said. Located about 60 km from the India-China border, Pakyong airport will be the 100th operational airport in India.
- The runway of the Pakyong airport is 1.75 km
- The airport was constructed by the Airports Authority of India and at present, the nearest airport from Sikkim is located 124 km away in Bagdogra in West Bengal.