16 Oct :The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave its approval for construction of a Greenfield Airport at Pakyong, about 35 kms from the State capital (Gangtok). The new Greenfield airport at Pakyong with 1700 mtrs. long runway and with two parking bays will be operational for ATR 72 type of Aircraft operation in fair weather condition. The Terminal building would be able to handle 100 passengers (50 arriving and 50 departing) at a time.
Sikkim is a land locked State with connectivity only by road. It is also one of the two States in the country which has no civil airport. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra (Defence airport with Civil Enclave). Due to hilly terrain and weather related problems, the road connectivity to Sikkim is frequently interrupted. The State also shares long international borders with Nepal, Bhutan, and China. Further, Sikkim has substantial tourism potential due to its scenic and natural beauty. As such, direct air connectivity to Sikkim is essential from socio-economic and strategic considerations. Besides, direct air connectivity would also promote tourism and other economic activities in the State.