New Goa airport at MOPA to handle 30 mn passengers, will be ready in 2 years


Goa’s second international airport, the upcoming greenfield airport at Mopa plateau in the north, once completed, will have the potential to annually handle 30 million passengers, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the State legislative assembly on Thursday.

In a written reply to a question by Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nilesh Cabral, Parrikar said the estimated cost of the first phase of the project is Rs 1,900 crore.

“The Mopa Airport is being constructed in four phases with an annual passenger capacity of 4.4 million in Phase I, 5.8 million Phase II, 9.4 million in Phase III and 13.1 million in Phase IV … Phase I is expected to start by September 2020,” Parrikar added.

As per the concession agreement between the State government and GMR Goa International Airport Limited, the Mopa airport will be developed as a passenger and a cargo hub.

Parrikar said that the Dabolim International Airport, which is under naval jurisdiction will continue handling civilian operations even after the commissioning of Mopa Airport.

According to Conde Nast Traveller, Goa’s second international airport at Mopa will be ready by 2020, the state’s chief minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday. When fully operational, the Mopa International Airport will be able to handle up to 30 million passengers every year, which will likely make it Goa’s default access point.

Mopa airport location
Goa’s second airport is coming up in Mopa in Pernem taluka. The Mopa airport will provide easy access to North Goa. The driving distance to Arambol (25km); Morjim (28km); Assagao (31km) will be nearly half of what it is from the current airport at Dabolim.

Mopa airport will also offer easier access the south Konkan strip: Vengurla (38km); Malvan (77km) and Sindhudurg (70km) will be a short drive away. Interestingly, there’s another international airport coming up in the region—Konkan’s Sindhudurg Airport is expected to start operations later this year. It will be much smaller though, and will serve only domestic traffic.

When will Mopa airport be ready?
The first phase of Mopa International Airport will start operations in September 2020, as per the minister’s latest statement. GMR Infrastructure Ltd, the company that runs Hyderabad and Delhi airports, is building the new Goa airport through its subsidiary at an approximate cost of Rs 3,000 crore. The airport will have a single runway, which would be 3.5 km long. This will allow it to handle multi-aisle, wide-body aircraft.

What happens to Goa’s Dabolim Airport?
Goa’s Dabolim Airport near Panjim will continue to operate even after the new Goa airport is ready. However, it may no longer serve as the main airport for the state. The Dabolim airport runs off a naval airbase, which means several restrictions for commercial aviation. The airport currently handles around 5 million passengers per year. Officials plan to improve this to 7 million over the next few years.

In comparison, the Mopa International Airport will handle 4.4 million passengers in Phase 1, 5.8 million passengers in Phase 2, and will outpace Dabolim airport in Phase 3, when it expands to handle 9.4 million flyers. When it is fully ready, 30 million passengers are expected to fly through Mopa each year.

With a private operator in GMR, Mopa Airport will also have much better facilities than the Airports Authority of India-run Dabolim airport, where the services can be best described as austere.

with inputs from Conde Nast Traveller

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