Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the second international Airport in Mopa, Goa, built at a cost of Rs 2,870 crore. The new airport has been named after former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar. It has been developed in north Goa and is equipped with handling more passenger traffic and cargo operations. Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said, "I am happy that this International Airport in Mopa, Goa has been named after Late Manohar Parrikar Ji. The approach towards creating infrastructure has changed, with this government. The airport launched today is a great example of this." Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "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." Earlier during the day, PM Modi addressed the valedictory session of the 9th World Ayurveda Congress in Goa.
- Today, India has become the third-largest aviation market in the world. In the last eight years, India has made every possible effort to improve 'Ease of Travel' for tourists. We have increased visa-on-arrival facilities and simplified the visa process. We took the initiative to take air travel to the smallest cities of the country. We have expanded the airport network in the country and 72 airports have been built in the last 8 years, the prime minister said.
- The foundation stone of the airport was also laid by the Prime Minister in 2016. This airport has been built at the cost of Rs 2,870 crore, which would also cater cargo services.
- The existing Dabolim airport offers direct connections with 15 domestic and 6 international locations. Through Mopa airport, the operations will increase to 35 domestic and 18 international locations.
- While there was no night parking facility at Dabolim airport, Mopa airport has provision for the same.
- Moreover, while there was no cargo terminal at Dabolim, the Mopa airport will have this facility with a handling capacity of 25,000 MT of cargo.
- The airport will have the capacity to handle 44 lakh passengers per annum in the first phase and it will go up to one crore passengers per annum after the completion of the entire project, the officials said.
- The existing Dabolim Airport has the capacity to handle 85 lakh passengers in a year.
- 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, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant were present at the event.
- After the commissioning of the Mopa airport, the number of flights landing in Goa will go up to 150, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said in July this year.
- In the last eight years, the central government has invested thousands of crores of rupees for Goa's development, the PM said.
(With inputs from PTI)