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The existing Visual Flight Rules, which require visibility of 5 km before landing, has been causing frequent cancellation of flights
The existing Visual Flight Rules, which require visibility of 5 km before landing, has been causing frequent cancellation of flights|EastMojo image 
SIKKIM

Sikkim: Pakyong Airport likely to resume flight services by Oct 27

The Himalayan state’s first and only table-top airport is dependent on Visual Flight Rules and needs at least 5 km visibility to land; situation expected to improve soon

Dichen Ongmu

Dichen Ongmu

Gangtok: Pakyong Airport, the only airport in Sikkim, is likely to resume operations from October 27 after which it is likely to re-link the state with the national aviation map.

The only operating flight from the airport, SpiceJet, suspended its Pakyong-Kolkata service owing to low visibility on June 1 this year. Services will resume and flights will be re-launched from October 27 for which the company has opened ticket bookings.

Earlier, the budget carrier had suspended flight operations for four months till September 21 by putting up a notice at the airport counter. Flight services were suspended due to unpredictable weather in Pakyong which results in very low visibility, thus hampering flight operations, especially during monsoon, it said.

Pakyong Airport, situated at 4,500 above sea level is dependent on Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and needs at least 5 km visibility to land. The visibility is expected to improve after rainy season.

Pakyong, a greenfield airport, is the 100th airport in India and the first in the state of Sikkim. Spread across 201 acres and located about 35 km from state capital Gangtok, the airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year. The first commercial flight operations from the airport commenced in October 2018 between Pakyong and Kolkata, which continued till May this year.