PM inaugurates Sikkim’s first airport at Pakyong

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Sikkim’s first airport at Pakyong on Monday. The airport is India’s 100th functional airport at a height of 4,500 feet.

Dedicating the airport to the nation, PM Modi said the Pakyong airport is not only a tribute to the beauty of Sikkim but also to the engineering marvel. “It’s a century for the country today. I would like to congratulate the planning team and the engineers involved in building the airport. The airport was inaugurated today, but the pictures have been trending on social media for the last few days. The government is trying to boost infrastructure projects and connectivity in Northeast.”

With a budget of Rs 605.59 crore this airport is engineered to include soil reinforcement and slope stabilisation techniques in the context of the altitude it has been built in.

According to the media reports, airport constructed by the Airports Authority of India is spread over 201 acres and is equipped with ATC tower-cum-fire station, two sophisticated CFT, one terminal building for passengers, high-intensity runway lights, parking for over 50 vehicles. The Indian Air Force (IAF) would be able to land various types of aircraft on the airport’s runway with the construction of another 75-metre stretch adjacent to the main runway in the coming days, Sikkim Chief Secretary A K Srivastava said.

The reinforcement wall of the project is 80-metre-high, one of the tallest in the world, the chief secretary said. Pakyong Airport Director R Manjunatha said the land for the airport was carved from the mountainside using massive geotechnical ‘cut and fill’ engineering works. The first commercial flight from Pakyong would begin from 4 October this year.

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