In a bid to cater to the increasing tourism in Goa, authorities will soon open a second international airport in Mopa, which is located in the north side of the state.
The upcoming Mopa Airport will be a greenfield airport and will have a capacity to handle around 30 million passengers in a year.
The airport will be built in 4 phases and will handle both passengers and cargo. In a letter to MLA Nilesh Cabral the Chief Minister of Goa, Mr. Manohar Parrikar, has asked to assign Rs 1900 crores for phase 1 of the project.
Phase 1 of the construction will be completed by 2020. Flight operations will commence thereafter and the commencement of phase 2 will start simultaneously.
Passenger capacity will be distributed throughout the four phases of the Mopa Airport, and eventually, by the end of phase 4, it will be able to fly 30 million passengers each year.
According to Mr. Parrikar, the annual passenger handling capacity of Mopa Airport will be 4.4 million in phase 1, 5.8 million phase 2, 9.4 million in phase 3 and 13.1 million in phase 4.
He has also said that the current Dabolim International Airport, which is a military-operated facility, will continue handling civilian aircraft operations even after the commissioning of the new international airport at Mopa.
The new airport will help bring in more tourists to the state, and the Dabolim Airport won’t have to take in too much of the passenger pressure. In 2016, Goa witnessed a 19.5 % growth in tourist footfalls (63.31 lakh tourists) and in 2017, that percentage increased to 22.98 %, with a total footfall of 77.85 lakh tourists.
Goa, being one of the prime tourist locations in India, attracts a massive crowd, especially during the winter months. With the opening of a second airport, travellers will have more options during the tourist season.