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Gorgeous Sikkim will have air connectivity when the construction work of a green-field airport at an elevation of 4,700 feet would be completed by next year. The state tourism minister, Bhim Prasad Dhungel while talking to the Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi said that this Rs. 300 Crore construction project, implemented by Airport Authority of India is going with full pace and it will be successfully completed by December 2014.
According to an official release the airport is going to be among the five high altitude airports of India. It is constructed on 200 acres land, which is around 30 km south of Sikkim’s capital, Gangtok. A boost in Sikkim tourism, this 180 meters long airstrip airport will facilitate the flights of ATR-72 planes and even include hangars for two small ATR aircraft. At present, the nearest airport to Sikkim is situated at a distance of 124 kilometers far from Bagdogra in the state of West Bengal.
Dhungel stated that it will launch an alternative connectivity to the Northeastern state owing to the fact that at this time the state is completely dependent on National Highway 31 for connectivity with the other parts of the country. Further, Dhungel even requested for rendering a central support worth Rs. 20 Crore for upgrading the helipads in Sikkim under the conformity norms laid with the DGCA. The opening of airport by next year will definitely contribute in growing Sikkim tourism.