Pakyong airport, the first ever airport at Sikkim is scheduled to be inaugurated today by PM Narendra Modi. Till today Sikkim had been the only state in India possessing no functional airport, the nearest one being more than 120kms away at Bagdogra in the state of West Bengal. The sole mode of commutation for the locals is still a roadway which gets frequently cut off by landslides. The modern, state of the art airport thus comes as a long awaited gift for the people of Sikkim and is expected to boost tourism in the state as well.
Commercial operations are scheduled to start soon with Spicejet commencing flights to Kolkata and Guwahati. Bhutan’s Druk Air also has plans to connect Sikkim to Paro early next year.
Earlier this year, operations at the airport were tested with a Dornier 228 operated by Indian Air Force on 5th March followed by a Bombardier operated by Spicejet on 10th March.
Pakyong airport is situated 35 kms from the capital city of Gangtok, nearly 60 Kms from Indo-China border and nearly 100 kms from the Indo-China-Bhutan border tri junction of Doklam. This makes location of the airport strategically important from security point of view. Union Minister for development of North Eastern Region, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the airport will also aid Indian Air Force for landing and taking off various types of aircrafts.