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Pakyong flight services likely to resume soon

Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 13:35 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020 07:51 [IST]

Pakyong flight services likely to resume soon

AJAY THAMI
PAKYONG: Closed since June last year following suspension of the lone service to Kolkata, flight operation is likely to resume from the Pakyong airport soon as the airport authorities have communicated about the airport’s readiness of the runway for flight operations.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials of the airport have written to low cost carrier Spicejet, that operated the flight service until its suspension last year, to resume services from Pakyong airport. Flight operation was cancelled as a portion of the runway had slipped causing difficulties in landing and takeoff. The runway width has now been extended and ready for flight operation, officials informed.
Spicejet, the lone operator from the airport, had cancelled its flight citing low visibility at the airport during rainy season. Also, at least 75 meters basic stripe (width) was needed at both sides of the runway to land the aircraft, the hills side width was only around 30-35 meters, causing difficulty for the aircraft to land.
The land owners at the hillside of the airport were also not allowing the AAI to extend the width over land damage compensation issues. They feared that excavation for widening could further damage their land and demanded that compensation be paid by the State government.
It was only in November, last year that a portion of the compensation was disbursed and the landowners agreed to let the extension work be undertaken.
The construction works including cutting of the hillside and extension of the runway width were initiated soon after the settlement with the aggrieved landowners.
It is expected that soon the flights will be operational after the Spicejet inspects the site and make necessary arrangements.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi