Sikkim Airport Inauguration: PM Modi inaugurated the Pakyong airport on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first airport in Sikkim at Pakyong today. PM Modi arrived in Sikkim on Sunday evening on a two-day visit to the state. The prime minister said the Sikkim airport will improve connectivity, benefiting the people of the state. Sikkim's dream of having an airport will come true nine years after a foundation stone of the greenfield airport was laid, around 33 km from Gangtok, in 2009. PM Modi reached Sikkim after launching the Ayushman Bharat- National Health Protection Mission from Ranchi on Sunday.
The airport is spread over 201 acres and is located on top of a hill about 2 km above Pakyong village at 4,500 feet above sea level, Sikkim Chief Secretary A K Srivastava said. The airport was constructed by the Airports Authority of India and at present, the nearest airport from Sikkim is located 124 km away in Bagdogra in West Bengal.
Here are the highlights of the Sikkim Airport inauguration:
PM Modi after inaugurating Sikkim airport:
- You also know well. Six decades back a small plane had flown from here. You had to wait for six decades for the airport.
- For the past four years, a government minister visits the north-east. You are witnessing the result of this effort.
- A lot of work is happening in the northeast for the first time since independence. In some places airports, railways, and even electricity reached for the first time.
- After independence till 2014, there were 65 airports, But last year alone, 9 airports became operational.
PM Modi in Sikkim: You also know well. Six decades back a small plane had flown from here. You had to wait for six decades for the airport.
PM Modi: I want to congratulate all the engineers and workers who planned and built this airport.
PM Narendra Modi: Pakyong airport is the symbol of our engineering skills
Here are some pictures of the Pakyong airport:
PM Modi has inaugurated the Pakyong airport. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Union Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu were also present.
Watch PM Modi inaugurating the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim:
PM Modi has arrived at the Pakyong Airport for inauguration.
On March 5, IAF's Dornier-228 aircraft was tested from Pakyong, officials said.
SpiceJet followed it by conducting test runs of the 78-seater Bombardier Q400 from Kolkata to Pakyong on March 10. This led to security clearances for commercial operations, they said.
Pakyong airport, about 30 km from the state capital of Gangtok, is the 100th operational airport.
SpiceJet will operate 78-seater Bombardier Q400 flights to and fro Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati everyday under the Civil Aviation Ministry's Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme, Airport Director R Manjunatha said. UDAN aims at enhancing regional connectivity.
Mr Manjunatha said initially the airport would only cater to domestic flights, but later it will also provide international flight services connecting Sikkim with other countries like Paro in Bhutan, Kathmandu in Nepal and Dhaka in Bangladesh.
The Sikkim Police has been entrusted with the security of the Pakyong airport.
The first commercial flight from Pakyong would begin from October 4, according to the Airport Director.
Pakyong Airport Director R Manjunatha said the land for the airport was carved from the mountain side using massive geo technical 'cut and fill' engineering works.
The airport has 3,000 sq metre terminal building and has a capacity to handle 50 in-bound and as many out-bound passengers.
The airport has a 1.75 km runway with a width of 30 metre. It has a 116-metre-long taxiway connecting it to an apron measuring 106 metre by 76 metre that can simultaneously accommodate two ATR-72 aircraft.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) would be able to land various types of aircraft on the airport's runway with the construction of another 75-metre stretch adjacent to the main runway in the coming days.
The Pakyong airport is located around 60 km from the Indo-China border.
Integrated structures comprising an ATC tower-cum-fire station, two sophisticated CFT, one terminal building for passengers, high-intensity runway lights, parking for over 50 vehicles are some of the features of the airport. The reinforcement wall of the project is 80-metre-high, one of the tallest in the world, Srivastava said.
The airport was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 605 crore and is an "engineering marvel" for its soil reinforcement and slope stabilisation techniques keeping in view the altitude it was built at.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached in an MI-8 chopper from Bagdogra and was received by Governor Ganga Prasad, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and others at Libing Army Helipad.