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PM inaugurates Mopa airport in North Goa; flights start on Jan 5

Mopa airport, named after the late Manohar Parrikar, will be a full-service intenational airport. It will cater for the heavy tourist traffic. The existing international airport at Dabolim will continue its operations.

PANAJI, Dec 11: The Mopa airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

The new international airport located in North Goa is being named after the late Manohar Parrikar, former Union Minister, who was also Chief Minister of Goa, the Prime Minister said.

The foundation stone for the new airport was laid by the Prime Minister in November 2016. This will be the second airport in Goa, the first islocated at Dabolim.

When the airport becomes operational on January 5, Indigo airline is all set to start flights to eight cities from there.

The passengers can choose the airport of their choice between Dabolim and Mopa, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said.

A cargo-handling airport, it will boost Goa's development, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.

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 Panaji, the Capital.

The Mopa airport had received the aerodrome licence from the Directorate- General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in October. The greenfield airport was developed by GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Limited.

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 in September. It is being built in four phases.

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.

Goa a tourist paradise

Around eight million domestic and international tourists visit Goa annually, a tourist paradise with its pristine beaches and Portuguese buildings. Goa was a Portuguese colony till it was liberated in 1961.

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.

(See Destinations in Goa)

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