PM brings up the curtain on Goa’s Mopa International Airport

modi at mopa airport goa

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Mopa International Airport in North Goa yesterday and said that it will be named after his late colleague and the former Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar. State Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shripad Naik, and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant were present at the event.

“The state-of-the-art airport in Mopa will significantly improve connectivity as well as boost tourism in Goa. Manohar Parrikar International Airport is proof of the changed government thinking and approach towards infrastructure in the country today. We took the initiative to take air travel to the smallest cities in the country.”

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

The airport, which has been constructed to increase air connectivity to Goa, is built around the idea of sustainable infrastructure for about INR 2,870 crore as a PPP project. The Airport will be operated by GMR Group and is to be developed in 4 phases, the first of which was inaugurated yesterday. It includes a single three-and-a-half kilometer runway, alongside integrated passenger terminal buildings, and a cargo terminal.

“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.”

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation
Bird’s eye view of the Mopa International Airport

Goa has an existing airport at Dabolim in the southern side, which is a civil enclave operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at a military airfield owned by the Indian Navy. Civilian and military operations share a common runway, resulting in severe airside congestion. It also lacks a dedicated cargo handling and processing facility, which the Mopa Airport will compensate for with its 25,000 MT cargo handling capacity.

As of now, only domestic flights will be operated immediately after inauguration, while international services will take off and land from January 2023 onwards. So far, two airlines – Oman Air and IndiGo – have announced flight operations at the swanky new airport, which will also be IndiGo’s largest-ever station. It has the potential of serving as a key logistics hub, directly connecting many domestic and international destinations, an official said.

“This airport shall cater and increase the exports of perishable items and also the pharmaceutical products which had to be transported to Mumbai and other international airports. Cargo operations at the airport will commence around February 2023 and will present great potential for Air Cargo Agents in the coming months and would warrant having a Goa and Pune Region team,” an air cargo professional has been quoted as saying.

In a white paper released after the inauguration of the facility, the GMR Goa International Airport Management stated the airport’s primary runway is 3,500 metres long and 60 metres wide. The airport has the capacity to handle extra large wide-body jet aircraft like an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner and the only full-length double-deck jet airliner. “The runway is oriented due east-west. A full-length parallel taxiway of 3,500 m is built with 225 m in the separation of the runway,” it said.

Airport authorities also said that the world-class cargo facilities, comprising 25,000 tonnes of temperature-controlled cargo handling capacity, have the potential to become an ideal hub for exports from Goa, southern Maharashtra and Karnataka. The cargo terminal will not only help airlines tap into lucrative revenue opportunities but will also open up new avenues for employment generation and contribute to the state’s GDP.

GMR Airports’ cargo division is creating infrastructure and ground facilities at the Mopa International Airport to encourage cargo operations. They plan to shift the cargo that is currently being transported by road to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai onto air freighters from the first quarter of 2023, thereby, integrating the new Mopa International Airport with the seven other major airports where air cargo is handled. The GGIAL also has plans to set up a logistics park on the 232 acres of commercial land available at Mopa.

The airport has been built on the theme of sustainable infrastructure and has a solar power plant, green buildings, LED lights on the runway, besides rainwater harvesting, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant with recycling facilities. It has adopted some of the best-in-class technologies like 3D Monolithic precast buildings, StabilRoad, Robomatic Hollow precast walls, 5G compatible IT infrastructure.

Inside the Airport
Inside the Airport
An initial outline for the Airport

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