Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has said the newly-constructed airport at Pakyong will soon become operational.
“The Pakyong airport is now ready and will be operational soon,” he told the state Assembly on Friday. The Chief Minister of Sikkim expressed his happiness over the over the landing of the first ever aircraft.
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, Chamling said a SpiceJet plane is scheduled to land at Pakyong airport on Saturday.
The Airport Authority of India will hve to decide on making the airport operational for commercial flights, the chief minister said, adding that it had taken nine years for construction of the Pakyong airport at the cost of Rs 605 crore.
Commercial aircraft will fly from Pakyong airport to Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati, he said.
Pakyong airport, near Gangtok, is over 4,000 ft above sea level.
The first public air base in the state is a green field airport at Pakyong in east Sikkim, 35 km from capital Gangtok. The Pakyong Airport project had commenced in 2009 and was supposed to finish by 2012. The construction has finished on the site. The terminal and the runway are ready with infrastructure. It is awaiting a green signal from the Airport Authority of India. At present, the nearest airport from Gangtok is Bagdogra, located 125 km away in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.