It is a big and eventful day for Sikkim today. Finally, the northeastern state got its first ever airport, Pakyong airport, which is no less than an engineering wonder. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the airport today imparting Sikkim a place on the aviation map of India. The dream of having an airport resonated in the air of Sikkim ever since its first foundations were laid in 2009. Prior to the construction of Pakyong Airport, Sikkim was the only state in India without any operational airport.
Earlier, it was a hefty task for the travelers or tourists who wanted to visit Sikkim as there was no direct connectivity to the state either by means of rail or by air. Getting down at the Bagdogra airport in West Bengal and then proceeding 124 km uphill on serpentine roads to reach Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital was really tiresome. But with the construction of this airport, things have become easy for the travelers as well as for the netizens of the state. Furthermore, the Pakyong Airport is undoubtedly a pleasurable sight for any person, whether it is from the air or on the ground.
Some interesting facts about Pakyong Airport in Sikkim are –
- Pakyong Airport is the 100th airport in India.
- Pakyong Airport also called the “greenfield airport” is situated at a height of 4,500 feet above the sea level. It has been skillfully built with the best of engineering techniques like slope stabilization and soil reinforcements after taking into consideration the altitude.
- This airport has been built with an estimated budget of more than Rs. 600 crore.
- The Pakyong Airport is scattered over an area of 201 acres located about 2 km uphill above the Pakyong village. It is 33 km away from Gangtok and 60 km away from the Indo-China border.
- Under the UDAN Scheme, the to and fro movements of the flights from this airport will begin from October 4. SpiceJet will run its 8-seater Bombardier Q400 flights to ferry passengers every day between Pakyong, Guwahati, and Kolkata. The flights will take off to and fro from Pakyong and Kolkata from October 4, and between Pakyong and Guwahati from October 16. With this airport becoming operational from October 4, Pakyong would be SpiceJet’s ninth destination.
- The reinforcement wall of the airport is 80-meter in height, making it one of the tallest in the world.
- There is a strategy behind the location of the Pakyong Airport located 60 km away from the Indo-China border. Its location will provide a boost to the Indian defense forces.
- The runway has a length of 1.75 km and a width of 30 m.
- The 3,000 sq.m. terminal building has a capacity to accommodate about 50 inbound and as many outbound passengers.
- It is expected that with this airport, there would be a boost in the economic development and tourism in Sikkim.
- The airport’s parking can accommodate more than 50 vehicles.
- The runway of this airport is designed with high-intensity runway lights which will make this runway a stunning spectacle at night.
- There are plans being made to build another 75-meter stretch next to the main Pakyong Airport’s runway in the forthcoming days, where Indian Air Force (IAF) can land their various types of aircraft on its runway.
Stay tuned to My India for more updates on the Pakyong Airport!