Gangtok: Flight services at the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim resumed on Tuesday after months of suspension due to operational difficulties. The services restarted with a Spicejet plane taking off for Delhi with 43 passengers.
The closure of the airport had been a major inconvenience for the people of the state as well as a major setback for the tourism industry of Sikkim.
The flight, which landed at the Pakyong airport with 12 passengers, was the only carrier that used to run the services on this route prior to suspending operations.
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The airport, located 26. 8 km from the state capital Gangtok, is also known as the first greenfield airport in the northeast.
Regular flight services will start on March 26 with a daily flight to Delhi, while the nearby Bagdogra airport in West Bengal’s Siliguri is around 123 km from Gangtok.
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Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang had earlier written to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for resuming flight services.
According to an official, the Pakyong airport is a VFR (Visual Flight Rules) airport and does not have instrument landing facilities, with a required minimum of 5,000 feet to operate from the airport, which is difficult to achieve on most days of the year, especially during the winter months.