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Monday, 7 December 2015

Sikkim’s first airport in Pakyong to be operational from December 2016

Sikkim’s first airport is expected to be operational from December 2016, with provision for direct connectivity to the land locked state thereby boosting tourism. The airport is coming up at Pakyong, 35 Km from Gangtok. Currently, the nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal from where one has to drive down to Sikkim.

The airport, spread over 400 ha (990 acres). It is the first Greenfield airport to be constructed in the Northeastern Region of India and the only airport in the state of Sikkim. The airport is being built by the Airport Authority of India featuring a 1,700 m × 30 m (5,577 ft × 98 ft) runway and a 116 m (381 ft) long taxiway connecting it to an apron measuring 106 by 76 metres (348 ft × 249 ft) that can accommodate two ATR 72 aircraft at a time. Also under construction are a terminal building measuring 2,380 m2 (25,600 sq ft) with a capacity of 100 passengers, a car park for 80 vehicles and a fire station cum Air Traffic Control Tower.

 Pakyong is a small town situated in the foothills of the Himalayas in the Eastern district of Sikkim. It is well connected to Gangtok and Rangpo and lies almost midway, approximately 28 km from either side. Recently the place has come into the limelight due to the first Greenfield Airport for Sikkim which is likely to be completed by 2013.  The existence of old British bunkers at British Killa suggests the intervention of the British in this site. Being one of the Sub Divisional Headquarters of the East District, the place has many well know educational institutes and salubrious climate which promotes floriculture and horticulture. The "National Research Centre for Orchids", (NORC Institute) is also located here facilitating extensive study and research on orchids.

The other places of attraction in Pakyong are the Shivalaya temple, Pacheykhani cave, Changey monastery, Devi Mandir, Karthok monastery and Monks’ Retreat Centre. Wednesday Bazaar 'hart' is a popular local attraction for visitors.

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