Pakyong, the first greenfield airport by Airport Authority of India, was constructed at a cost of Rs 553 crore. Almost 10 years after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared building of an airport at Pakyong in Sikkim, PM Modi inaugurated the airport. He commented that it was important to give infrastructural connectivity in the North Eastern region at a rapid rate.
“After Independence the country had only 65 airports till 2014. But in the last four years we have built 35 airports. Earlier the average was one airport every year, now the average is nine airports per year,” the Prime Minister said. He added that all sections of people would be able to use the airport as the fares would be less than Rs 2,500 under the UDAN scheme. “We are committed to make the Northeast an engine for India’s growth story. For the first time since Independence, stress has been given on increasing connectivity by both air and rail, providing electricity in remote areas of the Northeast and building infrastructure”.
The airport is about 33 km from Gangtok and it will be easier for people from the state to connect with the rest of the country. The first commercial flight to Pakyong from Kolkata on October 4 will be operated by SpiceJet.