The beautiful state of Sikkim is all set to join the aviation map of the country on 4th October 2018. SpiceJet will be launching the first ever flight from Pakyong Airport to different cities across India.
The no-frills carrier will operate daily direct flights on the Pakyong-Kolkata route from 4th October and the Pakyong-Guwahati route from 16Th October.
SG 3324, operating on the Kolkata-Pakyong route, will depart from Kolkata for Pakyong at 9:30 am, whereas SG 3325 operating on the route of Pakyong-Guwahati route will depart at 11.15 am.
A memento of the first flight ticket and boarding pass was presented to the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Mr. Shri Pawan Chamling, by representatives of the airline.
On 1st March 2018, SpiceJet had successfully operated a test flight to Pakyong, making it the first civil aircraft to land at the airport
The greenfield Pakyong airport, close to Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, had received the aerodrome license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in May 2018 for commercial operations.
Here are some interesting facts about the airport-
- It is the first Greenfield Airport in Northeast India and is spread across 990 acres.
- Located at a height of 4590 ft, this airport is considered as one of the 5 highest altitude airports in India.
- The airport is often called an engineering marvel owing to the extremely rough terrain it has been built on.
- The airport is built roughly 60 km away from the Indo-China border, giving it a huge strategic advantage. Indian Air Force(IAF) has already done test runs and will use the airport once it’s operational.
- The project for constructing this airport was sanctioned 11 years ago, however, due to land acquisition problems, the project was delayed. It has been built at an approximate cost of 350 crores.
It will be the 100th functional airport in the country. Sikkim is the only state without a functional airport at present.
With the opening of Pakyong Airport, it is expected that it will boost tourism, which will help in the economic development of the state and connect it to the rest of India.