Private airline SpiceJet operated a civil fixed-wing aircraft for the first time to Sikkim’s Pakyong airport today as a part of a trial run, Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said. The airline operated a 78-seater Q400 Bombardier aircraft from Kolkata to the newly-constructed airport and officials of the airline, Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials and officials of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) travelled in the aircraft, a state government official said, adding that the plane landed safely in Sikkim at 11.55 am.
“I am extremely happy to know that the maiden flight of SpiceJet to Pakyong airport landed safely,” Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling said in the state Legislative Assembly. This is a momentous occasion for Sikkim and the Sikkimese people, Chamling said. The SpiceJet aircraft landed at Pakyong airport, nearly a week after an IAF aircraft, a 19-seater Dornier 228 aircraft landed at the airport.
The Pakyong airport is likely to be made operational soon after the DGCA gives the green signal, officials at the airport said. Initially, flights will be operated from the airport to destinations such as Guwahati, Kolkata and New Delhi, the chief minister had said during the budget session of the Legislative Assembly.