AAI chairman says Goa traffic increasing 15% a year
PANJIM: Laying to rest apprehensions on whether two airports are feasible in Goa, Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Friday said there is enough demand for two airports to co-exist in the State.
Besides Dabolim, the second international airport is set to come up at Mopa at a cost of Rs 3250 cr. The new airport is expected to be commissioned by 2020. It has met with opposition with activists claiming that two airports are not feasible and Dabolim will have to be closed down.
AAI chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra, addressing the media at Vasco after inaugurating the airport operations control centre facility, said traffic in Goa has been growing constantly. “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,” Mahapatra said.
He said 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.
Mahapatra said Goa’s traffic is increasing at 15 percent a year and the current facility would not be able to cope with the load. “Today we are in the 46th consecutive month of double-digit growth. The Goa market is growing at 15 percent,” he said and added that 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 different locations. The chairman conceded that there will be market changes once the new airport is opened in the same State, but eventually these changes will find their level.
Mahapatra said that AAI has improved 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 said that the refurbished 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 movement. “We can add more flights once the parallel taxiway is complete,” he added.
Mahapatra said a lot of activities were being planned to increase the passenger comfort and passenger amenities at Goa International Airport. “Goa is one of the major airports and we are planning lot of activities in Goa to increase passenger comfort and passenger amenities,” he said.
He said one major project to be done is to start another terminal building. “The current terminal building is handling close to seven million passengers per annum. Considering that there is space constraint we think that we can add another two million passengers per annum capacity at Goa,” he said.