BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 13 NOVEMBER 2022
The state of Goa is all set to get its first civilian airport this December, the GMR developed Mopa Airport at Parnem.
The current functional Dabolim International Airport is a naval airport.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the Mopa Airport in December, according to sources. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has recently issued the aerodrome licence to Mopa Airport.
Union minister of state for civil aviation minister, V. K.Singh a few days ago had said that both Mopa Airport and Dabolim Airport will operate simultaneously.
Goa Chief Minister, Pramod Swaant and tourism minister, Rohan Khaunte were present along with him.
Daily 70 flights land in Dabolim Airport. From 9 AM to 2 PM no flight is allowed to land.
Mopa airport is located about 35 kilometres from Panaji, in the northern part of Goa.
Once the commercial flight operations starts Goa will be the first small state to have two airports.
PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Mopa Airport in November 2016.
The Mopa Airport can handle 50 lakhs passengers annually. The airport will be expanded in four phases and ultimately will be able to handle 13.1 million passengers per annum.
The airport has a single runway.
GMR Goa International Airport is developing the Mopa airport at acost of Rs.3000 crores.
The airport will also handle the cargo of products like pharma, fruits, floriculture, horticulture items etc.
The domestic flight operations are likely to start from December this year after the inauguration , however international flight operations will start from 2023.
The dates of PM Narendra Modi for inauguration of the Mopa Airport is yet to be finalised.
Rohan Khaunte, the tourism minister of Goa said that the second airport of the state will give a big boost to tourism.
The airport will have a code ‘E’ compliant, 3.5 kilometre long runway with Rapid Exit Taxiways. The airport will have an Integrated Passenger Terminal Building, Air Traffic Control (ATC) building, meteorological facilities, a cargo terminal, ancillary facilities for processing and storage, aircraft rescue and firefighting services and infrastructure for aviation fuel.
Goa’s current airport at Dabolim is a civil enclave operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at a military airfield, owned by the Indian Navy. Civilian and military operations share a common runway, resulting in severe airside congestion. This deters the long-term growth of civilian traffic at the airport. The Central Government had given its in-principle approval for a second airport in the state of Goa as early as March 2000. However, the project was stuck for 14 years due to land acquisition issues and local litigation.
Oman’s flag carrier, Oman Air, has confirmed to become the first international airline to begin international flights to Oman’s capital, Muscat from the airport from 1 January 2023, after the commissioning of the airport.
It is learnt that already domestic airlines have sought 100 slots at Mopa Airport.
“Mopa Airport project is expected to have a multiplier effect in the economy of the State creating immense employment potential contributing to the GDP of the State. The Government of India has given in writing that the civilian enclave at Dabolim Airport will continue to function even after commissioning of Mopa Airport. Therefore, Goa will become a unique State in the country to have two international airports conducting civilian operations in close proximity,” according to the department of civil aviation of government of Goa.
‘Discover Goa. Find Yourself’, is one of the most preferred tourism destinations in the country both for domestic and international tourists.