Pakyong , 17 Jan : For the first time IAF`s AN-32 transport aircraft lands in strategically important Sikkim`s Pakyong airfield
In a first, an Antonov-32 AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has carried out a successful landing at Sikkim’s Pakyong, one of the highest airfields in the country. The military aircraft landed at the airport, located around 60 km from the India-China border and 16 Km from capital Gangtok on Wednesday and Thursday.
“This is the first landing by an AN-32 class of aircraft at this airfield, which is one of the highest airfields in India,” a senior IAF official said. The crew was led by Wing Commander SK Singh. The aircraft is of the 43 squadrons.
The Pakyong, situated at 4,500 feet above sea level, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year. A Dornier aircraft of the IAF had landed at the airport last year.
Adding here the Pakyong Airport is yet to be fully cleared in other side of runway on North Eastern flank where work of cutting down the hill still remains pending ever since inauguration by PM due to non payment of money to private land owners. More than 155 land owners have halted the work which is strangled in state high court for next hearing on 25th February.
Strategically important Pakyong Airport has been facing hue issue of non payment to land owners as well as issues related to reinforced gigantic wall which during monsoon remains fragile which withstands airport.
Another hurdle is road which is very narrow that which is also pending year needed to be widened work of which was awarded to NHIDCL between Rorathang – Pakyong and Ranipool – Pakyong.
Lexical delay in works is observed which has been been tremendously affecting either to army as well as civilians.
It may be recalled that on 5 March 2018 Dornier – 288 20 seater IAF Aircraft made a historic landing for first time at table top Pakyong airport.