The GMR Group, which has bagged the contract to build a greenfield airport at Mopa in north Goa, today secured funding worth Rs 1,330 crore from Axis Bank for developing the Rs 3,000-crore new international airport in the tourist state. GMR Goa International Airport (GGIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Ltd, successfully executed debt facility agreement with the private lender for the development of the airport, GMR Group said in a statement. The company hopes to begin ground work at the site after the monsoons, it said.
GGIAL won the contract to build and operate the greenfield airport at Mopa last year and a 40-year concession agreement was signed on November 8, 2016. The agreement can be extended by another 20 years. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 13, 2016. “The entire debt of Rs 1,330 crore has been underwritten by Axis Bank for an 18-year tenor on competitive terms,” said Sidharath Kapur, president at GMR Airports, which also operates the Delhi and Hyderabad international airports.
The confidence of the banks on the project reflects the intrinsic strength of the plan and also the operational and delivery capability of GMR Airports, he added. Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman (Airports) at GMR Group, said the group is delighted to be partnering with Goa for building a new airport, which will become the gateway to the coastal state. “Having tied up funding for the project, we are working towards starting ground construction activity after the monsoons. We are confident that the new airport will significantly boost tourism in the state and also lead to jobs creation for the Goans,” he said.
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Goa has been witnessing an aviation boom with traffic at the existing airport at Dabolim growing nearly 30 per cent annually for the past three years. The greenfield airport will be developed in stages and scaled up as per traffic growth demands. The airport will be a full-service facility catering to domestic and international passengers besides freight services, the statement said.
The airport will be developed in four phases and is expected to have a capacity to handle 13.1 million passengers a year by 2045. A total of 2,271 acres is required for the project. Flights are expected to start around 2020. The GMR Group also operates the Sabiha Gokcen airport in the Turkish capital of Istanbul apart from the Mactan Cebu international airport in the Philippines. It recently won the bid to develop and operate the Heraklion greenfield airport on the Crete Islands in Greece.