Sikkim is now part of India’s aviation map as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the State’s first airport at Pakyong on September 24, 2018. This is also the 100th airport in the country.
The greenfield airport, located 30 km from capital Gangtok, will start its commercial operations from the first week of October. The airport is spread over 201 acres and is located on top of a hill about 2 km above Pakyong village at 4,500 feet above sea level.
It has a sheer drop on one side, promising spectacular views – or some heart-stopping moments, depending on how you feel about heights. The airport’s terminal building can handle 50 arrivals and as many departures simultaneously, so don’t expect too many flights every day. The new airport will be a massive relief for travellers and locals – who’s nearest air-link was through Bagdogra, nearly five hours away. Gangtok is around 45-minute drive from Pakyong, which means you can add nearly a day to your vacation.
Flights to Gangtok
The first flight from Pakyong airport will arrive on 4 October. The SpiceJet flight will operate on Bombardier Q400 turboprop jet, will ferry passengers to and from Sikkim, Guwahati, and Kolkata. After 15 October, it will connect onward to Guwahati. Pakyong will also see international flights from January, when Druk Air will start flights to Paro, Bhutan.