The Wait Is Over: First Commercial Flight From Sikkim’s Pakyong Airport To Guwahati Begins OperationPakyong Airport. Photo Credits: Pakyong Airport/Wikipedia

In a series of firsts for the residents of Sikkim, the maiden flight between Pakyong to Guwahati, became operational on Sunday (28 October 2018). This historic ceremony, which forebodes the increasing connectivity between Sikkim and mainland India, was attended by the Sikkim Lok Sabha MP Sh Prem Das Rai in Pakyong, as reported by Voice of Sikkim.

Earlier, on 4 October, SpiceJet flew down passengers from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata to Pakyong airport. This was the first flight to touch down at the newly constructed airport in Sikkim. The Pakyong airport, which is the first ever aerodrome in the state, was inaugurated by PM Modi on September 24. It became the 100th operational airport in the country.

This greenfield airport, constructed at a height of more than 4,500 feet, is nothing short of an engineering marvel. It is part of NDA government’s flagship scheme in the aviation sector, UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik). A first-of-its-kind project in the world, it aims to make flying affordable to the common man. It tackles the supply side by providing connectivity to unserved and under-served airports of the country, and the demand side is handled by giving seat subsidies to passengers.

From its current seventh position, India will become the third-largest aviation market in the world by 2024, says IATA. International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the industry body representing airline companies around the globe.

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