Pakyong, 08 May : According to PTI PM Sh Narendra Modi likely to inaugurate Pakyong airport in Sikkim. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to commission the strategically important Pakyong airport in Sikkim, sources in the Civil Aviation Ministry have said.
The Pakyong Airport, almost 30 Kms to the capital city of Gangtok, received the aerodrome license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation last Friday for commercial operations. The formal announcement was made by Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu through his twitter feed.
“The Ministry is in talks with the PMO and hopefully the PM will inaugurate the airport given its strategic importance and significance,” sources in the Ministry said, adding the dates are yet to the finalised.
The airport was approved by the Centre in 2008 and was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore. The project is being billed as an engineering marvel — it has been built at a height of 4,500 feet in an inhospitable terrain by Punj Llyod construction company of New Delhi.
Once commissioned, it will be the 100th functional airport in the country. As on date, Sikkim is the only state in the country without a functional airport.
The tiny Himalayan state Sikkim is a cornered state which seriously needs a better connectivity because during the monsoon only a mode of transportation a road connectivity gets disrupted almost for 3 to 4 months along highway NH10. That which makes state cutoff from mainland via road.
Low-cost airline SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata under the Civil Aviation Ministry’s regional connectivity scheme under Udaan 2.
SpiceJet has already conducted a dry run at the airport with one its 80 seater Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 aircraft successfully landing there on March 10 2018. Also in 05 March, A Dornier 228 of the Indian Air Force landed at the airport.
The tourism sector, in particular, is expected to benefit immensely with the opening of the airport other than the economic boon it will bring to the Himalayan state.
The nearest Bagdogra airport in West Bengal is about 150 km from Gangtok and air passengers have to take the road after alighting there.
In the other hand, a Sevoke-Sikkim Railway work just received NOC from GTA Chairman to perform works through hill. However, the railway work at Sikkim side has started from a digging 2.5 km tunnel from Kumrek in Rangpo till the Khanikhola presumed station. The work has been going on, as told by construction company Abir Construction to The VOS last week.