Sikkim gets first airport, India its 100th

Sikkim gets first airport, India its 100th

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first airport in the state of Sikkim at Pakyong, 4,500 feet above the sea level. The 100th airport of India is located at 60 km from China border.

The foundation stone of the greenfield airport was laid in 2009. The airport is expected to improve the connectivity and boost the tourism in the Himalayan state.

The airport was built 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, Sikkim Chief Secretary AK Srivastava said, reports NDTV.

The prime minister reached here on Sunday evening in an MI-8 chopper from Bagdogra and was received by Governor Ganga Prasad, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and others at Libing Army Helipad.

The airport has a 1.75 km runway which is 30-metre wide. A 116-metre-long taxiway connects it to an apron measuring 106x76 metre. The airport terminal building can handle 50 inbound and as many outbound passengers.

The land for the airport was carved out of a mountainside using massive engineering works. The first commercial flight is expected to begin operations from October 4.

The runway at the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim. (pic @PMOIndia)