Stakeholders of the tourism sector in Sikkim has termed the successful trial landing of a commercial aircraft and imminent commissioning of the Greenfield airport at Pakyong as a main ‘turning point’ for quality tourism in the State.
Till date, Sikkim is dependent solely on National Highway 10, the national highway connecting the border State with the rest of country.
Tourism experts were of the view that the functioning of the Pakyong airport will go a long way towards promoting Sikkim as a tourism destination.
“It will also attract filmmakers to shoot in Sikkim,” opined another tourism sector bigwig.
Notably, two Bollywood movies were shot in Gangtok and other parts of the State. The movies were ‘Qarib Qarib Single’ starring Irrfan Khan, and ‘Pahuna-The Little Visitors’ produced by Priyanka Chopra, the brand ambassador of Assam Tourism.
The apex tourism organizations of the State are optimistic about the Pakyong airport becoming fully operational as soon as possible.
Apart from tourism, the Pakyong airport will also be of great help to the locals, especially in times of medical emergencies.
The organic horticulture and floriculture products of Sikkim, which are highly perishable will also be delivered to markets across the country swiftly when the airport becomes operational.
Earlier, an Air Force fixed wing 19-seater Dornier 228 landed at Pakyong airport on March 5, the first-ever landing of an aircraft at the new airport.
Five days later, on March 10, a Spicejet 78 seater Bombardier Q400 aircraft made a historic landing at the Pakyong airport.
The aircraft carried teams from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Government of India, Airport Authority of India (AAI) Board and Spicejet Operation from Kolkata and New Delhi in the first trial flight.