Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated Mopa International Airport in Goa, named after former chief minister and defence minister Manohar Parrikar. The airport’s foundation stone was laid by PM Modi in November 2016. This will be the second airport in Goa, the first one being located at Dabolim.
Speaking on the occasion, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said: “For the first time in the country, two airports have been established in a city. Under the previous government, not even a single airport was constructed in a year. Wherever there will be double engine government, development will happen.” Airlines like Indigo and GoFirst have already announced plans to launch 168 and 42 flights respectively from the new airport next month.
Built at a cost of about Rs 2,870 crore and on over 2,000 acres of land, the Mopa airport has come up on the theme of sustainable infrastructure and has the capacity to cater to 44 lakh people every year. “The state-of-the-art airport in Mopa will significantly improve connectivity as well as boost tourism in Goa,” tweeted PM Modi.
“The development of a Greenfield airport at Mopa, Goa is a prestigious project being developed by the State Government of Goa under public-private-partnership (PPP) mode at a revised sanctioned project cost of Rs 2,870 crore,” an official statement from the government said. The new international airport is located in the Northern part of Goa, about 35 km away from Panaji, the capital city of Goa.
The in principle approval to Goa government for setting up a greenfield airport at Mopa village was granted by the Centre in March 2000. According to official information, the airport is expected to promote the socio-economic development of the state and meet the needs of the tourism industry.
It has the potential to serve as a major logistics hub, directly connecting several domestic and international destinations. Multi-modal connectivity is also planned for the airport. Being a world-class airport, the airport will also give visitors the feel and experience of Goa.
“The existing airport at Goa which is a Civil Enclave for which a terminal building is maintained by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is a defence airport belonging to the Indian Navy. Goa’s Dabolim airport will not be closed for civilian use even after the new international airport at Mopa becomes fully operational,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said. Although Indian carriers had already announced their upcoming flight services to Goa’s new airport MOPA, airlines like GoFirst and IndiGo will also start their services in January.
The existing Dabolim Airport has the capacity to handle 85 lakh passengers in a year, but it does not have the facility for cargo transportation, which is there at the new airport.