SpiceJet flight from Kolkata becomes the 1st passenger plane to land in Sikkim
Kolkata: The most awaited moment was witnessed on Saturday at Sikkim's Pakyong Airport with a SpiceJet's 78-seater Bombardier Q400 aircraft making a successful landing. The flight took off from Kolkata at 10.46 am and landed at around 12 noon.
"It is the first civil fixed wing flight to land in Sikkim and has paved the way for further growth of tourism in Sikkim," a senior official from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.
Apart from senior AAI officials, passengers for the flight included senior officials from SpiceJet and also a top-ranked official from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Chief Secretary of Sikkim A K Srivastav was present at the Pakyong Airport.
The delegates alighting there stayed for more than half-an-hour and discussed and surveyed the runway along with the technical staff. Then the aircraft took off for Kolkata.
"SpiceJet is ready to operate the flight from Kolkata to Sikkim. We are hopeful of full fledged commercial operation within a month. The schedule will be finalised soon," an AAI official stated.
It may be mentioned that on March 5, an Indian Air Force Dornier aircraft had successfully landed at the airport. It had taken nine years to construct Sikkim's Pakyong Airport at a cost of Rs 605 crore.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling had said recently that commercial aircraft will soon fly from Pakyong Airport to Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati.
The airport at Pakyong, 30 km from Gangtok, is the first airport of Sikkim, which currently depends on NH10 to connect with the rest of the country.