Aviation watchdog DGCA has given the aerodrome licence for the new airport at Mopa in Goa, paving the way for starting commercial flights operations from there soon.
The licence for the Mopa airport, which will be operated by GMR group, was issued on October 26, according to a senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
This will be the second airport in Goa, where already there is an operational airport at Dabolim in Mormugao city. The new airport will be around 35 kilometre from Panjim in the northern part of Goa.
The Mopa airport is being constructed in four phases with an annual passenger capacity of 4.4 million in phase I and it will increase to 5.8 million in phase II.
In phase III, the capacity will rise to 9.4 million passengers per annum and once phase IV is also complete, the total capacity will be at 13.1 million passengers per annum.
GMR Airports Ltd (GAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure, had in November 2016 signed a concession agreement with the Goa government to develop and operate greenfield international airport project at Mopa.
GAL’s subsidiary GMR Goa International Airport is developing the project, which is based on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis.
In September, the operator completed the landing trials for both approaches — 10 and 28 — of the newly-built runway.
At present, only 70 flights land at the Dabolim airport, which is a civil enclave, on a daily basis. No landing is permitted from 9 am to 2 pm at the facility.
After the commissioning of the Mopa airport, the number of flights landing in Goa will go up to 150, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said in July this year. Currently, there are 131 operational airports in the country.