Pakyong: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first greenfield airport of Sikkim at Paykong.

"It is a historic day not only for Sikkim but also an important day for the country. Our country now has 100 airports. Since Independence till 2014, the country had only 65 airports but in the past four years, we have set up 35 more airports," Modi said.

The prime minister was addressing a gathering at a school ground here after inaugurating the airport.

"We are committed to making the Northeast as engine of India's growth story. For the first time since Independence, stress has been given on increasing connectivity by both air and rail, electricity in remote areas of the Northeast and building infrastructure," he said.

Sikkim's dream of having an airport came true nine years after a foundation stone for it was laid here, around 33km from state capital Gangtok, in 2009.

The first commercial flight from Pakyong would begin from October 4.

Pakyong airport will pave the way for direct connectivity to Sikkim and is the 100th airport of the country.

Located around 60km from the India-China border, the airport is spread across over 201 acres and is located on the top of a hill about 2km above Pakyong village at 4,500 feet above sea level, Sikkim chief secretary AK Srivastava said.