Sikkim, March 11: For the 1st time ever a private flight smoothly landed at the Pakyong airport in Sikkim on Saturday morning, prompting civil aviation officials to express the hope that the airport might be operational in a month. The SpiceJet test flight from Calcutta landed at the Pakyong airport - 4,600ft above the sea level and around 30km from Sikkim's capital Gangtok - around 11.45am.
The Bombardier Q400, a turboprop aircraft with 78 passenger seats, took around one-and-a-half-hours to reach Pakyong from Calcutta.
A team was standing by at the Bagdogra airport, off Siliguri, in case an emergency cropped up and the flight failed to land at Pakyong. An air force aircraft recently made a test landing at the airport.
The directorate-general of civil aviation, the regulatory authority for civil aviation in India, inspected the airport on Saturday.