Navy withdraws notification on closing Dabolim airstrip for few hours on Saturdays and Sundays
VASCO: Giving immense relief to charter flight operators and tourism stake holders, the Indian Navy on Thursday withdrew its notification on closing the Dabolim airstrip for few hours on Saturdays and Sundays for schedule maintenance works.
The notification was withdrawn after Dabolim MLA Mauvin Godinho held two rounds of meeting with the officials of Navy and Airport Authority of India (AAI), on Thursday.
The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) had predicted that several charter operators would pull out for the current tourist season due to non-availability of proper landing slots at Dabolim airport.
Emerging from the second meeting, Mauvin said, “We have been trying to solve various issues pertaining to Dabolim airport. In the morning we had a fruitful meeting at the naval enclave where certain issues on landing slots not being available for charter flights was sorted out. The notification on closing the Dabolim airstrip for few hours on Saturdays and Sundays has been withdrawn and now there will be no hindrance charter flights.”
“This is a big boost for state tourism and I must thank the naval authorities for acceding to the demand of the State government by accommodating civilian interest by permitting more flights. Also, in the whole process navy also stressed on the total safety aspects in regards to all aircrafts taking off and landing,” he said.
“The Navy wanted to clear off the debris that is generated due to frequent use of the strip by the aircrafts, but now they have agreed to take up the repairs some other time of the day,” he added.
Mauvin also allayed fears that the current tourist season will have less chartered planes arriving in the State. “If you go by the bookings, there is 37 per cent increase in the chartered flight arrivals in the State for this season,” he said.
Meanwhile, during the second meeting other important issue related to taxi counter was discussed at length. Taxi operators were apprehensive and were stuck on one point demanding that agreement for the taxi counter should be directly in between AAI and taxi operators with no third party involved in the issue.
However, GTDC officials as well as AAI officials explained to the taxi operators that they cannot have direct agreement with AAI and if this happens then they have to go via different route like auctioning of counter and other formalities. It was also asked to the taxi operators that they should maintain discipline at the airport and should start with installation of GPS on their taxis as from April 2018 the same would be mandatory.