Sikkim's Pakyong airport obtains license, to become the 100th functional airport

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 05, 2018, 06.51 AM(IST)

Representative image of an airplane. Photograph:( Others )

The state of Sikkim will soon be joining the aviation network as the Pakyong airport is set to become the 100th operational airport in the country when it begins operations in June, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said on Wednesday.

The low-cost airline SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata under the civil aviation ministry’s regional connectivity scheme. 

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu took to Twitter to announce the development, saying the license would pave the way for direct air connectivity to the state, giving boost to tourism and economic growth.

"The Pakyong (Gangtok) Airport at Sikkim got license today for scheduled operations. It's an engineering marvel at a height of more than 4,500 ft in a tough terrain. Will pave way for direct air connectivity to our lovely state of Sikkim, giving boost to tourism & economic growth," he tweeted.

Pakyong airport, about 30 km from the state capital of Gangtok, will be the 100th operational airport when it begins operation, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said on Wednesday. 

Twenty-five airports have been added to the aviation network under the regional connectivity scheme. The airports from where flights would start in May/June under the scheme are Jamshedpur, Cooch Behar, Durgapur, Kullu and Pantnagar, according to Airport Authority of India chairperson Guruprasad Mohapatra.

Mohapatra also said that 13 airports under the scheme are being upgraded. They include Kanpur, Rourkela, Burnpur, Utkela, Jeypore, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur, Ambikapur, Jagdalpur, Mithapur, Neyveli, Solapur and Raigarh.

Besides, 23 airports and helipads have been awarded to handle helicopter operations under the scheme, Mohapatra said.