Pakyong airport, a saga of delays and difficulties

Report by: 
3 Sep 2018

Pakyong Greenfield Airport, set up 28 kms from the capital town of Gangtok, was sanctioned more than 11 years ago, but continued to get delayed because of factors like problems of land acquisition. The project was scheduled to be completed by 2012, but due to delays the cost escalated nearly three times.
The airport project faced other hurdles like the earthquake in Sikkim in 2011 that damaged nearly 250 neighbouring buildings and also a portion of the boundary wall. Set up at a height of 4,500 feet and on the top of a fragile hill, the construction of the airport was a difficult proposition. In fact, the Jadavpur Engineering College did not want to associate with the project as technical consultants but finally technical help was sought from IIT Kharagpur for strengthening of the hill slopes through bolting and other suitable technology.
SpiceJet has now been given the clearence to start its services from Pakyong to Kolkata and Guwahati. The Kolkata – Pakyong services are scheduled to start on October 4 and the Guwahati – Pakyong services on October 4. With this, Sikkim would have its own airport within the State.