News Brief

Goa: DGCA Grants Aerodrome Licence To Mopa Airport, Flight Operations To Begin Soon

Amit Mishra

Oct 28, 2022, 02:13 PM | Updated 03:41 PM IST

Mopa Airport (Illustration)
Mopa Airport (Illustration)

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday (26 October) issued the aerodrome licence to Mopa Airport in Goa, paving the way for imminent operation of commercial flights. 

The tourist state of Goa currently has one airport at Dabolim in South Goa.

“The licence was issued on Wednesday evening after a series of checks. It essentially means the airport is certified to be safe for handling flights,” said a DGCA official.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Greenfield airport at Mopa in North Goa built by GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Group, in coming weeks.

Mopa airport has been built on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis and will be operated through GGIAL by GMR for a period of 40 years, extendable by 20 years, as per broad lease agreements.

The new airport is being developed in stages to initially service 5 million passengers per annum and will be scaled to handle 28 million passengers once all four phases are completed.

This Airport will be a full-service airport catering to domestic and international passengers besides freight services, GMR has said.

GMR group has said that it expects the airport to be in operation with a single runway to start with which is about 3.5 km in length, initially Code-E compliant which means that the airport can handle even large aircraft from the B777 Series, B787 Series, and A330 family.

Mopa Airport is keenly awaited as Dabolim airport is suffering from capacity constraint.

Dabolim airport is managed by Indian Navy, and continues to be India’s biggest Naval airfield—home to two MiG 29K Squadrons assigned to the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

The current terminal in use, is designed to handle 2,750 passengers per hour and around 5 million passengers annually, state government data shows.

The statistics, however, reveal that the airport has already handled 5.24 million passengers between April and September this year.

There is also the problem of the navy restricting civilian operations every morning between 9am and 12.30pm for practice sorties.

This means limited slots for scheduled commercial flights at Dabolim , which leads to high fares in peak travel season for passengers.

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