The Pakyong airport in Sikkim is set to become the 100th operational airport in the country when it is commissioned in June, Minister of State for Civil Aviaiton Jayant Sinha said today. Low-cost airline SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong in Sikkim from Kolkata under the civil aviation ministry’s regional connectivity scheme. Sikkim was the only state without an airport in the country. “But the state would enter the aviation map soon when Pakyong airport becomes operational,” Sinha told reporters.
Twenty-five airports have been added to the aviation network under the regional connectivity scheme. The airports from where flights would start in May/June under the scheme are Jamshedpur, Cooch Behar, Durgapur, Kullu and Pantnagar, according to Airport Authority of India chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra. He also informed that 13 airports under the scheme are being upgraded. They include Kanpur, Rourkela, Burnpur, Utkela, Jeypore, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur, Ambikapur, Jagdalpur, Mithapur, Neyveli, Solapur and Raigarh. Besides, 23 airports and helipads have been awarded to handle helicopter operations under the scheme, Mohapatra said.