New Delhi : Goa’s newly developed Manohar International Airport, Mopa started its operations today. An event held at the airport saw the first passenger flight arrival and departure at the Manohar International Airport. Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (Retd.) V K Singh joined the event virtually. Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Tourism Shripad Naik and Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant were present on this occasion. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Manohar International Airport, Goa on 11th December 2022.
Addressing the event virtually, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (Retd.) V K Singh congratulated all stakeholders involved for the successful commencement of operations at the Manohar International Airport. He also noted how the new airport will go a long way in boosting economic growth of both the State of Goa and the country.
Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Tourism Shripad Naik, addressing the occasion, said, “Today is a golden day for Goa and for the people of Goa and for me too.” He took the opportunity to reminisce about how he was tasked with looking into matters of Civil Aviation in his first term as a Member of Parliament, under the Prime Ministership of the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Manohar Parrikar was the Chief Minister at that time and we started work on this airport. All our dreams have been fulfilled today”, noted the Minister.
Minister Shripad Naik further stated that a new airport would help tourism and enable Goa to become a hub for exporting perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, and fish. This would create employment opportunities, increase income for locals, and attract visitors from across India. The Union government is focusing on development in Goa; more projects will come to fruition in the near future, added the Minister.
Goa has traditionally been a popular tourist destination, but the Dabolim airport being a Defence airport put limitations on air traffic, according to Goa Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant. He informed that with the new airport, Goa is set to be connected to 18 new foreign and 30 new domestic destinations.
He added that normal taxi services are gradually becoming available, and in the meantime, the State government is deploying a fleet of electronic buses through the Kadamba Transport Corporation to prevent disruptions for tourists. He said Goa will become one of the most exciting locations in the subcontinent because of the passenger-plus-cargo services that will be managed from the airport. He remarked that with the recent reduction of VAT on aviation fuel from 18 percent to 8 percent, the state administration has made a positive step forward. In order to write a tremendous success narrative for Goa in the tourism, logistics, aviation, and related sectors, the Goa government is devoted to offering wholehearted assistance to all stakeholders, said the Chief Minister.
On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval for naming Greenfield International Airport Mopa in Goa as ‘Manohar International Airport–Mopa, Goa’, as a mark of tribute to Late Manohar Parrikar, former Defence Minister and four-time Goa Chief Minister.
The foundation stone of the airport was laid by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2016.
Developed at a cost of around Rs 2,870 crores, the airport has been built on the theme of sustainable infrastructure and comprises a solar power plant, green buildings, LED lights on the runway, rainwater harvesting, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant with recycling facilities, among other such facilities.
Initially, phase I of the Airport will cater to around 4.4 million passengers per annum (MPPA), which can be expanded to a saturation capacity of 33 MPPA.. The airport has extensively used Azulejos tiles, which are native to Goa. The food court also recreates the charm of a typical Goan café. It will also have a designated area for a curated flea market where local artisans and craftsmen will be encouraged to display and market their wares.