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GOA TO OPEN SECOND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AT MOPA

Goa government is completing the land acquisition for the second international airport at Mopa in North Goa. According to Swapnil Naik, Director of Tourism, Government of Goa, the state government has already acquired nearly 30,000 sq. meters of land and an additional 50,000 sq. meters will be acquired by June 2010 for the Greenfield airport which will be Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) venture on Build Operate and Transfer (BoT) model. Naik further informed that International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conducted a feasibility study on the site of the proposed new airport and has given its approval for the same.

The state government, which received a nod from Union cabinet in 2000, recently received the ‘go ahead’ from the central government for the second airport. The state government will roll out global tenders for PPP next month and will finalize the private player by year-end. The second international airport is slated to commence operations within three years of appointing a private partner. Following the Union Cabinet’s approval for the second airport in Goa, there have been opposition from various local factions regarding the location of setting up the new airport and also to the closure of the existing airport at Dabolim. On account of the opposition for the latter, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had drafted a request to Union Cabinet to allow the existing airport at Dabolim to continue operations after the introduction of the new airport at Mopa. If the cabinet approves the request Goa will have two international airports posts 2014.

“After being in dispute for quiet some time, the Mopa international airport has finally got sanctioned and will hopefully start operations by 2014. The new airport will ease the increasing traffic at the existing airport in Dabolim. The new airport will enhance easy access to the state for both international and domestic travellers and will further benefit the tourism industry,” added Naik.

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