Spicejet landed first time at Pakyong airport in Sikkim

Spicejet landed first time at Pakyong airport in Sikkim
Siliguri: The first private airline, a 78-seater Bombardier Q 400 of Spicejet, landed at the Pakyong airport in Sikkim on Saturday, much to the delight of the Himalayan state's residents and tourists.
The airport is managed by Airport Authority of India (AAI) and is one of the highest in the country located at a height of 4,590 feet. It is 35km from state capital Gangtok.
"It is an important day for us. The Spicejet flight landed here for the first time. It took off from Calcutta with high-level teams from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and AAI, along with some officials of the airline company. There were around 15 people on board," said R.Manjunatha, airport director, Pakyong.
Earlier this month, a Dornier 228 aircraft of the Indian Air Force had landed at Pakyong for a trial run.
"The infrastructure is ready from our side. We hope Sikkim will soon find an official place in the national air map," added the airport director.
Those from AAI and DGCA interacted with officials posted at the airport and also with senior officials of the state, who had gathered at the airport on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling had said at the Assembly that the airport will be operational soon. It will largely help in improving connectivity between Sikkim and the rest of the country.
As of now, road transport is the principal mode of communication in the state, with a helicopter service from Bagdogra.
At Pakyong, there is a runway that is 1,700 metres long. It also has an apron to accommodate two ATR aircrafts.
Also, a terminal building with necessary infrastructure to handle around 100 passengers, a parking lot of 80-odd vehicles and an air traffic control-cum-fire station have been built at the site.
Spicejet, that has been permitted to run flights to Pakyong, has already announced flights in Calcutta-Pakyong-Guwahati and Delhi-Pakyong routes.
Senior officials, who arrived at the airport by the flight, inspected the facilities and infrastructure.
"Their visit might be considered as a final check of airport before commencement of services. The final assent is expected soon," said a source in AAI.
Raj Basu, the tourism advisor to the Government of Sikkim, welcomed the development.
"The airport is going to be a turning point for Sikkim. Most tourists who visit the state are from Calcutta and adjoining areas and very soon, there will be direct air connectivity to Gangtok. Also, the state will have connectivity with Guwahati, the entry point to north-eastern states. It is a day for celebrations in the state," said Basu.

The Telegraph

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