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India is now world's third biggest market for air connectivity: Modi

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Subhayan Chakraborty | Updated on: 24 Sep 2018, 04:51:18 PM

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (September 24) inaugurated Sikkim’s Pakyong Airport giving the state a massive connectivity boost. The Greenfield Airport is constructed at an altitude of 4,500 feet from the sea level and had cost around Rs 600 crore. While addressing a cheerful crowd, PM Modi said that he solely dedicates the Pakyong airport to the people of Sikkim, adding that it was India’s 100th operational airport.

"Work is progressing at a high pace to strengthen both, infrastructural & emotional connectivity to Sikkim & Northeast. I've been here myself to check the development work in Northeast & Union Ministers regularly visit the region," said PM Modi at the inauguration of Pakyong Airport, Gangtok.

The first commercial flight from the Pakyong airport would start from October 4.

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Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu was present during the inauguration and while addressing the gathering he said, the Pakyong airport is a gift from PM Modi to the people of Sikkim and it will benefit the people of Sikkim. It will boost both tourism and employment in the state.

The government is trying to build another 100 airports in the next 10 years, he added.

Meanwhile, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said the inauguration of the Pakyong airport was an historic event and termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a great person.

“The Prime Minister is not just a PM, but also a great person,” said CM Chamling.

The Greenfield airport is located around 60 kilometre from the Indo-China border and would provide India an advantage from a security point of view.

The nearest airport from the Pakyong airport is located 124 kilometre away in Bagdogra, West Bengal.

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Pakyong airport has a runway of 1.75 kilometre with a 30-metre width alongside state-of-art facilities.

Earlier, IAF’s Dornier-228 aircraft was tested from the Pakyong airport, officials said.

ATC tower-cum-fire station, one terminal building for passengers, high-intensity runway lights and two CFT are some of the features of the airport.

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The foundation stone for the Pakyong airport was laid in 2009 and after 9 good years, Sikkim’s dream of having an airport has come true.

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First Published : 24 Sep 2018, 12:27:04 PM