Sikkim first ever Airport Inaugurated
By Sandeep nagyaan · 25 Sep 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first airport in Sikkim. With this, the number of functional airports in the country went up to 100.The airport at Pakyong, about 30 km from Gangtok and surrounded by mountains, is a major boost to connectivity in the mountainous State. the airport would be linked to the Union government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) regional connectivity scheme and the airfare for about an hour would come to Rs. 2,500.The airport has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 605 crore. This is Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) first greenfield airport in the country.
About airport:- The Pakyong Airport at an altitude of 4500 feet is one of the five airports in India. It is spread over an area of around 900 acres. Apart from this, it is also the first greenfield airport built in north-eastern states. After this airport the tourism industry is expected to benefit greatly.
Background:- In 2008, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave green signal to the Pakyong airport project. For this Punj Lloyd was given a contract of $ 37 million. Although the year 2012 was set to complete the project, it was interrupted due to local people's opposition. Its work was interrupted by the year 2014, After which the airport authority intervened and assured the local people that they would get their rights. After this, the work here started again. Even after this, the locals tried to disrupt the work here, due to which an MoU was signed between the Airport Authority Authority State Government. It was said that till August 15, people displaced from this airport will be accommodated in the right place. The cost of this project increased to $ 43-84 million between all of them.
Benefits:- China's border from this airport is about 60 kilometers away. In this sense, it is also important from strategic point of view. From here, if necessary, the jawans will be brought to the border faster. Apart from this, it will also work for the Indian Air Force in the airport emergency. This airport has been prepared in such a way that if needed, the army can land here.
What would next:- On May 5, 2018, the airport received a license for commercial flight operations. SpiceJet has been allowed to fly in Kolkata to Kolkata. This service will start from October 4, 2018. Apart from this, Bhutan's Druk Air will also start its service from Paro for January next year.