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PAKYONG AIRPORT – SIKKIM’S FIRST EVER AIRPORT

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Sikkim’s first-ever airport today.

i.e. Monday, 24th September, 2018.

 Built at an estimated cost of over Rs. 605 crore, the Pakyong airport is a new distinction for the State of Sikkim which has, in the last three to four years, achieved the distinction of becoming the first “Organic State” of India and also the first “Open Defecation Free” (ODF) State of India.

Pakyong Airport is a greenfield airport near Gangtok, the state capital of Sikkim, India. The airport, spread over 400 ha (990 acres), is located at Pakyong village about 35 km south of Gangtok. 

At 4500 ft, Pakyong Airport is one of the five highest airports in India. It is also the first greenfield airport to be constructed in the Northeastern Region of India, the 100th operational airport in India, and the only airport in the state of Sikkim

The Pakyong Airport project is one of the tallest reinforced soil structures in the world.

UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is a regional airport development and “Regional Connectivity Scheme” (RCS) of Government of India, with the objective of “Let the common citizen of the country fly“, aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of India.

The scheme has two components.

  1. The First component is to develop new and enhance the existing regional airports to increase the number of operational airports for the scheduled civilian flights from 70 (in May 2016, total 98 operational including army airports) to at least 150 airports (by December 2018) with regular scheduled flights.
  2. The Second componentis to add several hundred financially-viable capped-airfare new regional flight routes to connect more than 100 underserved and unserved airports in smaller towns with each other as well as with well served airports in bigger cities by using “Viability Gap Funding” (VGF) where needed. 

Union government share of “Viability Gap Funding” is from the cess applied to flights to popular routes to main cities and respective state governments have also offered additional benefits to the flight operators to make UDAN-RCS viable.

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