More often than not, Airports outside the capital cities is composed of a strip of asphalt runway in an underdeveloped terrain, with a small structure where you can claim your luggage. Other times, it is an engineering masterpiece that is breathtakingly built on the roof of the world, carved out of the mountainside. This is the newly inaugurated Pakyong Airport in Sikkim, India.
Located in the Himalayan mountains of over 1,400 meters height, engineers and workers had to haul all construction materials up narrow mountainside dirt roads while braving the monsoon rains and rough terrain. As partof the construction process, an 80.38 meter reinforced embankment, which is one of the tallest in the world, was built to accommodate the 1,700 meter-long and 30-meter-wide runway, which is surrounded by the Himalayas’ deep valleys.
Although Indian’s 100th airport can accommodate up to 100 passengers at a time, the main asset it boasts of is its breathtaking view the passengers will be able to partake in as they land. This facility which serves a remote area in Sikkim offers one of the most dramatic airport views. With India’s aviation industry rapidly growing, they could very well dominate the civil aviation market within the next 10-15 years.
As India’s tourism is rapidly growing as well, Sikkim hopes that the construction of this new airport will boost the social tourism and economical growth of this region that has yet to be discovered by the public.
Conveniently bordered by Bhutan and Nepal, the northeastern state comprises of 28 mountain peaks, 21 glaciers and more than 200 lakes, making it the perfect destination for its scenic Himalayan landscapes.