CCEA approves greenfield airport in Sikkim

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New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for the construction of a greenfield airport at Pakyong in Sikkim, which will help improve connectivity of the land locked State.

Briefing newspersons on the outcome of the CCEA decisions, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said the new airport, which is intended to have 1,700 metres long runway 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.

Mr Sibal said Sikkim, a land locked state with connectivity only by road, has no civil airport.

The nearest airport at Bagdogra is a defence airport with a civil enclave.

The Minister said due to hilly terrain and weather related problems, the road connectivity to Sikkim is frequently interrupted.

As such, he said, direct air connectivity to Sikkim is essential due to socio-economic and strategic considerations.

Mr Sibal said direct air connectivity will promote tourism and other economic activities in the North-eastern State.

UNI SG/GS MP BD1610

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