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Aircraft lands at Pakyong airport, creates history

Statesman News Service | Gangtok |

The first fixed-wing aircraft, the Dornier 228 (19-seater) of the Indian Air Force, made a successful landing at the newly constructed Pakyong Airport in Sikkim on Monday.

Chief Secretary AK Shrivastava said the trial landing at 3.25 pm was historic and the first such landing of such an aircraft in Sikkim soil.

“This was possible after several attempts over the last few days and the aircraft came all the way from Guwahati,” Mr Shrivastava said, adding that another flight of the same aircraft will be possible in about 10 days’ time.

The aircraft came close to the Air traffic Control room (ATC) and it is learnt that all the systems were working well at the new airport that is yet to begin operations. One flight of SpiceJet is expected to land there on 10 March.

“This 70-seater plane is likely to carry high-ranking officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian government’s Directorate General of Civil Aviations (DGCA),” sources said.

Pakyong Airport Director Manjunatha R said the aircraft landed on Monday after it made several trials, low passes over the runway on 28 February, “though visibility was not very good.”

“My entire team of the AAI, Pakyong, has made it successful with the help of the district authorities.

This is the beginning of aviation connectivity for Sikkim and I thank the ministries and the district authorities for the help and support and making this a success,” he said.