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New Mopa airport in Goa gets aerodrome licence from DGCA

Scheduled commercial flight operations are likely to commence at Mopa within the next two months. Tourism is expected to receive a tremendous boost.

NEW DELHI, Oct 27: The new Mopa airport in Goa has received the aerodrome licence from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The greenfield airport in North Goa is being developed by GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Limited.

Mopa will solely handle the civilian traffic while the existing international airport at Dabolim operated by the Airports Authority of India is facing air traffic congestion as it is also shared by the Indian Navy. Mopa is 35 km from Panjim.

Scheduled commercial flight operations are likely to commence at Mopa within the next two months.

Only 70 flights land at the Dabolim airport a day as no landing is permitted from 9 am to 2 pm. With the Mopa airport, the number of flights landing in Goa will go up to 150.

GMR said the airport will be a full-service airport catering to domestic and international passenger besides freight services. It will begin operations with a single runway. However, it will handle large aircraft like B777, B787 and A330. The landing trials were completed last month.

It is being built in four phases. The first phase will handle 4.4 million passengers annually.

The GGIAL will have the right to operate the airport for 40 years, extendable by another 20 years as it is built under Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model.

Eight million tourists visit Goa

Around eight million domestic and international tourists visit Goa annually. Mopa airport is expected to draw more tourists.

The small State of Goa along the western coast of India is a tourist paradise with its pristine beaches and Portuguese buildings. Portuguese architecture had a great influence on the functional and aesthetic designs of buildings within the State as well as outside like Kerala. Goa was a Portuguese colony till it was liberated in 1961. The extant 17th century churches speak of a rich, ancient, imported civilisation. November to February is the best time to visit Goa. It is cool. After that soon it is summer followed by the monsoon. Konkani is the main language but English is like native.

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