The Airport Authority today said there is enough demand for two airports to co-exist and grow in the tiny Goa. The tourist state is building a greenfield international airport at Mopa in the north which is scheduled for commissioning by 2020. The state has an airport at Dabolim now which is primarily a Navy facility. Chief minister Manohar Parikkar had earlier said the present faciliyt would continue to handle civilian flights even after the new facility is commissioned. “Goa has only one airport but the way air traffic growth is taking place, we can see that both the airports can grow and exist,” Guruprasad Mahapatra, AAI chairman told reporters at Vasco today while inaugurating the airport operations control centre facility.
“There are always take-off (teething) issues when a new airport comes up, but those are gradually taken care of. I strongly feel that both the airports should continue to grow,” he said. India is seventh largest aviation market globally at present, and is expected to be the third largest by 2025, after the US and China. “Today we are in the 46th consecutive month of double-digit growth. The Goan market is growing at 15 per cent,” he said, adding this growth rate will continue for another 10 years. “There are 900 more aircraft, of all sizes, coming into the country. These arrivals show that there is a tremendous potential,” he said.
Mahapatra feels both airports in Goa will continue to grow because they are at two different locations, one in the north and another in the south. The chairman conceded that there will be market changes once new airport is opened in the same city, but eventually these changes will find its level. Mahapatra said the AAI has improved lot of facilities at Dabolim airport and is planning for its expansion. “We have taken the Goa airport under direct control of our headquarters,” he added. He informed that the refurbished Goa airport will have modern toilets and inland X-ray baggage system which will be in place in another six months. The Dabolim airport will also have a parallel taxiway to ease traffic and handle more movements. “We can add more flights once the parallel taxiway is complete,” he added.