India's 100th Airport: What Makes Pakyong Airport So Special to the Country
The first airport of Sikkim, Pakyong Airport, 4500 feet above sea level, could be considered a special airport as it increases connectivity to the Sikkim, a much-loved travel spot for Indians as well as global travellers. However, what actually makes it special is the fact that it also happens to be India's 100th airport, meaning as of 24 September 2018, the country has 100 airports, with at least 1 airport in each of its 29 states. The Pakyong Airport has the honour of being among the highest airports of the country. As a bonus point for flying to this amazing state, you get the fragrance of the orchids as soon as you step out of the Airport.
Approved in October 2008, Pakyong Airport is a result of 10 years of hard work. In spite being halted twice due to protests and constructional difficulties, the Airport was completed at an estimated cost of 605 crores, which was twice as that of the initial budget of 309 Crores. The resultant of the years of efforts have turned out mesmerisingly giving the Pakyong Airport one of the most amazing views from an airport.
Location: The Pakyong airport is located in the Pakyong Village, 35kms south of Gangtok besides the Dikling Monastery and the National Research Centre for Orchids which creates an ecstatic vibe. The airport is constructed over an area of 990 acres, at a height of 4500 feet above sea level and happens to be one of the 5 highest airports in India.
Connectivity: Flight services operated by Spicejet from Kolkata to Pakyong begin from 8 October 2018 and from Guwahati to Pakyong begin from 16 October 2018. Druk Air plans on starting flights between Pakyong and Paro, Bhutan from 1 January 2019. More flights are expected to be connecting Sikkim through the Pakyong airport to other parts of the country.
Runway: The Pakyong Airport has a 30m wide and a 1700m long runway, 116m long taxiway and an106 by 76 m apron which can accommodate two ATR 72 aircraft at a time. The airport has a terminal building with a capacity of 100 passengers, a car park with a capacity of 80 vehicles and a Fire Station cum Air Traffic Control Tower.
By joining the Aviation, Sikkim has made it easier for the adventurous generation to find solace in its lap. You don't have to spend your time on the journey to this state of mesmerising beauty, instead make the most of the destination.