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National airport operator AAI , Sikkim govt sign MoU for Pakyong Airport

Gangtok : National airport operator AAI and Sikkim Government have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the recommencement of work at the Pakyong Airport in the state, which has been held up since January this year over the compensation to the displaced persons. Following the signing of the MoU, it has been decided that the work on the airport would recommence from October 1, Airports Authority of India has said in a release. The work at the airport was stopped in January due to locals agitating over the issue of compensation to be paid for the houses affected because of the earth filling works.

The state government has now committed to shift the households by August 15 and help AAI commence the work, the release said. At present 75 per cent of the development work has already been accomplished and the balance 25 per cent would be completed in the next two working seasons, it said, adding the airport will be up and functional by September 2017. However, due to the stoppage of work, the Greenfield airport cost has escalated to almost double to Rs 605.9 crore as against Rs 309.46 crore as estimated earlier, the AAI said. Once completed, Pakyong airport will be capable of handling ATR-72 type of aircraft, the AAI said. The MoU was signed in the presence of Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey, Secretary Development of Noth-East Region (DoNER) R Vijay Kumar and officials from Niti Ayog, the release said. The airport construction including navigational aids and passenger terminal will be completed by June 2017, it said.
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