It is a proud moment for everyone as India got its 100th Airport. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Sikkim’s first airport at Pakyong today. The airport will be seen making life easier for the people there. It will improve connectivity and hence will be seen benefiting the people of the state.
People of Sikkim could finally dream of flying by air. After a wait of nine years, the foundation stone of the Greenfield Airport was laid. Sikkim’s dream of having air connectivity finally came true today. The airport at Pakyong is around 33km from Gangtok and is located 124 km away in Bagdogra in West Bengal, which till now was the closest airport to reach Sikkim. The airport is located around 60km from the Indo-China border.
The airport has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 605 crore and is said to be an engineering marvel. Located at an altitude of more than 4,500 feet, the picturesque airport is lauded because of the terrain where it has been built.
The first commercial from the Pakyong airport will begin from October 4. SpiceJet will operate 78-seater Bombardier Q400 flights to and fro Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati every day.
The airport has a 1.75km runway with a width of 30 meters. It has a 116-metre-long taxiway connecting it to an apron measuring 106 meters by 76 meters that can accommodate two ATR-72 aircraft at the same time.
Addressing people at a school in Pakyong after the inauguration, PM Modi said Pakyong airport is the "symbol of our engineering skills". "I want to congratulate all the engineers and workers who planned and built this airport. A lot of work is happening in the northeast for the first time since Independence. In some places airports, railways and even electricity reached for the first time," PM Modi said.
PM Modi landed in state capital Gangtok on Sunday in a helicopter. He was received by Governor Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. On his way, he clicked scenic pictures of the state from the MI-8 chopper and shared them on Twitter.
With a full-time functional airport, Sikkim is expected to witness a surge in tourism and more money-making avenues for the locals.