The Mopa international airport is set to add 20 direct domestic and 12 international flights to and from Goa after it commence operations on January 5. At present, there are 15 direct domestic and six direct international flights to and from Goa.
Chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday that the airport will commence operations from January 5. PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the airport on Sunday.
Sawant said that in 2014, the state government tendered the airport project, and in 2016, it was awarded to GMR Goa international airport. The airport will handle 44 lakh passengers per year, and will be able to handle up to 3 crore passengers a year in future.
Modi had laid the foundation stone for the airport on November 13, 2016. The total cost of the project is over Rs 2,800 crore. The concession period for the airport is 40 years, extendable by another 20. The airport is spread over 2,100 acres.
“The total airport project is complete,” Sawant said, adding that the Dabolim airport will continue functioning even after Mopa commences operations.
Sawant said that the Mopa airport’s name will be decided by the ministry of civil aviation.
At present, the Dabolim airport can handle 85 lakh passengers per year, and the “ultimate capacity” is almost 1 crore passengers. Chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel said that the total number of direct connections at Dabolim is 15, and 20 new ones will be added at Mopa. “Similarly, there are six direct international flights from Dabolim, and 12 will be added at Mopa,” Goel said.
Goel said that the Mopa airport will have cargo parking facility, which is not available at Dabolim. “At present, Mopa can handle 25,000 metric tonnes per year, which can be increased as per requirements,” he said.
In September, an Indigo Airbus A320 landed on the Mopa runway, completing critical navigation procedures for the greenfield airport. AAI successfully completed the calibration of the instrument landing system for the newly-built runway-28 at the airport. A special AAI flight inspection unit aircraft completed the technical observation and fine-tuning of the equipment.
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