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Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju today visited Sikkim's greenfield airport at Pakyong and inspected its infrastructure and facilities. He also enquired about management of issues such as landslides near the airport, a state government official said. Raju later held a meeting with senior officers of the Airports Authority of India and the state government on making the airport operational, he said. Sikkim tourism secretary C Zangpo said the airport is almost ready and the decision of making the Pakyong airport operational will be discussed at the highest level based on the union civil aviation minister's feedback, he said. The licence for making the Pakyong airport operational and other clearances will come from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Zangpo said. Regarding agitation by some families demanding compensation as their houses were demolished by local authorities in compliance with safety requirements of the airport, the tourism secretary said that the matter was sub judice. He expressed confidence that all hurdles regarding the project will be resolved soon. The greenfield airport at Pakyong was approved by the Centre in 2008 and the then union civil aviation minister Praful Patel had laid the foundation stone a year later. The project was completed this year at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore.
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