Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu today discussed the progress on the proposal to expand facilities at the Dabolim airport in Goa with the state government and AAI officials. The plan envisages extension of the terminal building and creation of parking bays. Prabhu met members of the Cabinet Advisory Committee (which is in charge in the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who is undergoing treatment in the US) here, and also spoke to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials. “We had a meeting with all senior ministers of Goa. We had a detailed discussion about how we should promote Goa as a tourism destination using airport as a medium,” Prabhu told reporters at the Dabolim airport later.
“As you are aware, there is a new airport coming up at Mopa. That airport will come up in addition to the present airport (at Dabolim) which is being redeveloped, and a lot of infrastructure work is going on,” the Union minister said. The existing terminal building at Dabolim would be extended and three parking bays would be built with an expenditure of Rs 256 crore, he said. A parallel taxiway would be constructed at a cost of Rs 187 crore, he added. The airport is being renovated and modernised to ensure that it remains functional for a long time, he said.
“This airport will continue servicing the growing demand for tourism as well as for other purposes. There is a great possibility of using the airports in Goa for transportation of cargo which can create huge job opportunities. Farmers who grow vegetables and fruits will get international markets and better prices,” he said. Both the airports (Mopa and Dabolim) will, in addition to serving passengers, cater to the growing need of cargo movement to and from the coastal state, he said.
The construction of a greenfield airport at Mopa in North Goa district is expected to be completed in 2020. “We have also decided that the Goa government will be allotted a counter at the new airport so local products can be sold there, whether it be souvenirs produced by local self-help groups or local produce grown by farmers,” Prabhu said.