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GANGTOK: Sikkim's first greenfield airport at Pakyong will be completed by December 2014 which will provide air connectivity to the land locked state, state tourism minister Bhim Prasad Dhungel said.
 
The Pakyong airport is being built at an altitude of 4700 feet which will be one of the five highest airports in India. The reinforcement wall on the project is 80 meters height, which is one of the tallest reinforcement walls in the world, Dhungel told Union Tourism minister K Chiranjeevi at New Delhi today, official sources said
 
Sikkim's first airport will be completed by end-2014 providing much-needed air connectivity to the landlocked state, Tourism Minister Bhim Prasad Dhungel said here Thursday.
 
Speaking after meeting union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi, Dhungel said the airport at Pakyong, 30 kilometers south of the state capital Gangtok, is being constructed by the Airports Authority of India on 200 acres of land. It will be one of the five highest airports in India. 
 
Work is in full swing and flights will begin from March 2015. The airport has a 180-metre-long airstrip and will facilitate flights of ATR-7 (twin-engined short-haul turboprops) planes and will also have hangars for two ATRs. At present, the nearest airport to Gangtok is located 124 kilometres away at Bagdogra in West Bengal.
 
The Pakyong airport will open an alternative connectivity route for the state as at present it has to solely depend on National Highway - 31 for connectivity to the rest of the country.
 
The airport will facilitate free movement when the national highway is blocked by protestors or landslides from time to time said Mr. Dhungel.
 
The airport will have a terminal building which can accommodate 100 people and a car park for 80 vehicles.
 
Sikkim Tourism Minister also requested the tourism minister to provide central assistance of Rs.20 crore for upgrading helipads in the state.

Posted on: 19 Sep, 2013

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