GANGTOK: The lone Green airport in the strategic border state of Sikkim resumed its operation from Saturday after over 21 months of suspension of operation in June 2019, citing unconducive landing and weather problems.
At 4646 ft, Pakyong Airport is one of the five highest airports in India. It is also the first greenfield airport constructed in the northeastern region.
The first flight of M/s. SpiceJet Limited landed at 12.10 hrs with 57 passengers and gone back with 21 passengers on day one.
The airport had to complete the required widening work of Pakyong Green Field airport of the basic strip up to 40 meters. However, the widening works have completed in January 2020.
Director Tourism and Civil Aviation Kapil Meena told media that the Spice Jet will operate daily operation from Pakyong to New Delhi and will benefited the strategic border State in many ways.
Additional Chief Secretary, J Jayakumar said that resumption of operation is only possible after mutual cooperation from the Airport Authority of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation and state government and able to settle the land disputes amongst the landowners adjourning to the Pakyong airport.
He said that the Sikkim government is in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India for air connectivity with SARC like Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand in near future.
Pakyong Green Field falls under the category 2C airport under Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) norms and is clear it’s all huddles as per the laid norms of the DGCA 2 C category.
Ramtanu Shah, Operational Director of Pakyong Green Field airport said that the airport has explored introduction Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Required Navigation Performance-Authorization Required (RNP-AR) is being explored with the help of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and have cleared all the hurdles faced during landing and take-up of which is physible of 5 km visibility requirements.
The Greenfield airport is situated at a distance of 30 km from the state capital of Gangtok is strategically situated in Sikkim with a larger interest of the nation and border security at the time of its necessity was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, 2018.
The first commercial flight operations from the Pakyong Airport began on October 4, 2018, between Pakyong and Kolkata and continued till May 31, 2020.