Pakyong Airport, the only airport in Sikkim, is likely to resume operations from March after which it is likely to re-link the state with the national aviation map. The only operating flight from the airport, SpiceJet, suspended its Pakyong-Kolkata service owing to low visibility in June last year.
Secretary Tourism and Civil Aviation TT Bhutia said, “As far as the reopening of the airport is concerned, the Airport Authority of India has assured us that the airport will re-operational from the month of March.”
There were land compensation issues which have now been settled and remaining compensation of Rs 30 crore will be paid off in the next financial year.
It is worth mentioning here that the facilities required for flights to operate in low visibility are yet to be installed at the airport which needs additional lands.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Pakyong airport last year in the month of September.
The airport was constructed by the Airport Authority of India and the nearest airport from Sikkim is located 124 km away in Bagdogra in West Bengal. The airport is not only important for Sikkimese people but it is equally important for strategically looking at the proximity with China.
It is also the first greenfield airport constructed in the Northeastern Region of India. The Pakyong Airport is the 100th operational airport in India. The Pakyong Airport project is one of the tallest reinforced soil structures in the world.