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Modi inaugurates Sikkim's first airport

  • Published at 11:11 pm September 24th, 2018
WEB_Sikkim Airport_Modi Inauguration_AFP_25.09.2018
This handout photo released by India's Press Information Bureau and taken on September 24, 2018, shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, centre, at the inauguration of the Pakyong Airport in Gangtok AFP

The foundation stone of the Pakyong airport was laid down in 2009

The Northeast Indian state of Sikkim has got its first airport on Monday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated it. The airport is located at Pakyong, which is 33km from the state capital – Gangtok. It is the first Greenfield airport of Northeast India as well.

The foundation stone of the Pakyong airport was laid down in 2009.

Earlier, visitors had to take a flight to Bagdogra airport in West Bengal and then travel for 124km uphill to reach Gangtok.

The prime minister was received by Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad, Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, India’s Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and other senior state officials as well as representatives from BJP’s Sikkim unit.

During the inauguration program, Modi addressed the gathering, “Pakyong airport is the symbol of our engineering skills. I want to congratulate all the engineers and workers who planned and built this airport.”

“You had to wait for six decades to get this airport. A lot of work is happening in the Northeast for the first time since independence. In some places; airports, railways and even electricity reached for the first time. After independence till 2014, there were 65 airports. But last year itself, 9 airports became operational,” he said.

The Pakyong airport is located around 60km from the India-China border.

It is expected that with a functional airport, Sikkim will prospectively see a growth in tourism and economic development.