Sikkim’s first Airport in Pakyong:
Pakyong Airport in Sikkim, about 30 km from the state capital Gangtok. In fact, it has placed Sikkim on India’s aviation map. However Sikkim was the only state in the country that did not have an airport. Before that Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal was 125 kms away the closest to Sikkim .
It is one also of the five highest airports in India. Further, Pakyong Airport in Sikkim is also the first green field airport in north east of India. After that, the total number of active Airports in India has risen to 100.
Dream of an airport
Sikkim’s dream to have an airport finally came true nine years after the foundation stone laid in 2009. Pakyong Airport is located about 33 kms from the capital, Gangtok. On October 4, 2018 Spice Jet run the first direct commercial from Kolkata to Pakyong Airport.
An Engineering Marvel
At an altitude of more than 4,500 feet. This pretty airport is an engineering marvel because of the terrain of the place it has been built.
State-of-the-art geo technical including soil balance and slope brace method is used. Also common storage and retrieval shape is guarded as managed for greenfield projects.
Facts and Features
Firstly Joined buildings encompass an ATC tower-cum-fire station, two circular CFT. Further consist of one passenger building, running lights, parking for extra 50 vehicles. Altogether this are some of the features of the airport.
The project reinforcement wall is 80 meters high, which is also one of the longest in the world.
The airport has a runway of 1.75 km and a width of 30 meters. On the other hand, 116-meter taxi way to connect it to an apron measuring 106 by way of 76 meters. It can hold two ATR-72 aircraft at the same time.
The airport has an estimated 3,000 sq of terminal building while it can keep 50 in-bound and as many out-bound passengers.
Commercial Flight Services
Intend to provide air network to the far away part of India, under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik). Authority of India AAI operate Pakyong Airport .The only flights operated by Spice Jet Airline, which supply commercial passengers with commercial services, ending once daily Kolkata-Pakyong.
However, the service of the aircraft suspended for a time in June 2019. After the Spice Jet talk about practical troubles due to bad weather and low clarity.
Although the Airport Authority of India AAI has issued a service letter. Stating that they installed four visual cues to help Indian Metrology Department (Pakyong), ground surveillance MET, now Weather Instrument System (CWIS) in place. so that flight operations are not disrupted.
AAI also put down letter to Spice Jet Limited, asking to return flight service. However, it is on hold due to COVID 19 Pandemic.
Location of Pakyong Airport
The airport is spread over 201 hectares of Land and is located on a hill about 2 kms from Pakyong village. It is located about 4,500 ft above sea level. Airports Authority of India has built the Airport. Previously, the nearest airport from Sikkim is located 124 km from Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal.
Airport is strategically located near the Indo-China border at a distance of 60 km . Thus given a valid urge for the movement of armed forces and defense equipment.
Amenities available at the Pakyong airport are:
- Cutely designed restaurant and cafe
- Currency Exchange
- Information Desk
Pakyong Airport is bound a great sight for tourists. Hence, the airport is built at an estimated cost of Rs 605 crore.
As Pakyong airport is located about 60 kms from the border with India and China. Hence it is the most important. So State Government or Sikkim & Sikkim police has been assigned security at Pakyong Airport.
Importance of Pakyong Airport for Tourism
From a Tourism aspect , this is a major booster . No doubt, Sikkim is one of the most famous traveler destinations in the course of the year. As the new Pakyong airport in Sikkim is in full swing, journey time is also reduce by 5 hours. Now the state have its airport, people now can directly come to Sikkim. In the past, the nearest airport for passengers could fly down was Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. As a result they have to further drive 5 hrs to Sikkim through NH-10.
This new airport has created a sensation among Indians and foreigners for this reason they are now showing interest to visit Sikkim.
Sikkim has achieved a distinction in being the first Organic State” of India in 2016. No questions asked Pakyong Airport is another distinction for Sikkim.
Places to visit near Pakyong
The beautiful city of Pakyong attracts visitors from a long way and wide with its stunning climate and natural splendor. Those who visit the area, return home with good memory and a cool mind, promise to visit again. Check out some of the most excellent places to visit in close Pakyong.
This is one of the best places to spend the day with your family and friends. If you wish to enjoy nature and its beautiful scenery this garden is right choice. It is established by the Sikkim Forest Department in 1922 located in the foot hills of Gangtok and Pakyong. Now a days it has became a major tourist attraction in the city.
Sikkim Science Center
Established by the State of Sikkim and the National Council of Science Museums, Government of India. The science center is a great place to take your little ones. Likewise kids can learn about fun ways as there is a Children’s Corner inside the museum. Apart from Children’s Corner there are other sections and galleries as well. Especially The Unique Humankind Gallery, Fun Science Gallery and Science Park is must see.
Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
This is one of the most beautiful public garden. It is located near the Rumtek Monastery near the lovely city of Pakyong. The garden is home to a variety of orchid and oak flowers. The place is so green, full of flowers and trees and so clean that you will at once love it.
Without a doubt, Rumtek Monastery close to Pakyong is one of the most well known monasteries in Sikkim. This is another lovely place where one can meet and greet Buddhist monks and watch in their natural environment.
Rumtek monastery is the base of the Black Hat Sect. It is also one of the oldest sects of Tibetan Buddhism. A trip to Sikkim is incomplete if one misses out on touring the great Rumtek Monastery.
Yakten Village is located 10 km from Pakyong Airport and is only 35 km from Gangtok. It is a home stay dependent village in East Sikkim, located in a town of 6,000. A beautiful virgin village, surrounded by lush gardens and famous for its rare Himalayan orchids.
One can make a short trek to “Jhandi Dara” where one can find the ancient ruins of castle. Located on a hill top offering a 360-degree view of Mt. Kanchenjunga.The trek route blossoms with variety of Rhododendrons. It further gives you a heavenly feeling as you walk along the trail.
Q.Why pakyong airport is called greenfield airport ?
A.Situated near Gangtok, Pakyong Airport is also a greenfield airport. A greenfield denotes that a project lacks any constraints imposed upon it by prior work or existing infrastructure. This is one of the tallest reinforced soil structures in the world.
Q.How far is pakyong from Gangtok?
A. Pakyong is located around 30 KM away from Gangtok. It is around 40 minutes drive
Q.Is there any flight from Kolkata to pakyong?
A. Sicejet is only Airline operating flight from Kolkata to Pakyong.
Q.Is there any flight from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Banglore to pakyong?
A.There are no airlines that fly directly from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Banglore to Pakyong.
Q.Is pakyong airport functional ?
A. Airport is partially functional on account of visibility issues linked with the terrain. Post Pandemic it is expected fully functional.
Q.What pakyong airport code ? A.PYG