Goa

Decline in international cargo at Goa Dabolim airport by 30%: Manager

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The manager of the Dabolim airport, Mr Paul Manikum said that although the traffic at the airport has registered a growth of 50 per cent, the international cargo at the airport has declined by 30 per cent.

Interacting with the leaders of the state industry at the 99th annual general meeting of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry on June 30, Mr Manikum also informed that in spite of the Airport Authority of India being ready for the expansion of the Dabolim airport expected to cost around Rs 500 crore, the land for the purpose is unavailable. “Whatever land is available around the airport belongs to the navy,” he added.

Speaking further, Mr Manikum said that there is an urgent requirement of a new cargo terminal at the airport.

He lamented that continuous power failure at the airport has forced the airport authorities to run its operations on generator, without air-conditioning, at times. The airport manager also bemoaned that water supply has been scarce at the airport.

Goa

Aerial view of Dabolim Airport

The Chief Secretary, Mr J P Singh, present on the occasion, said the airport problem faced by the state is being seen by the government in totality and adequate steps would be taken to facilitate upgradation of the existing Dabolim airport. Mr Singh also observed that a committee nominated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to study setting up of an international airport at Mopa would be soon looking into the matter.

The state government has already spent over Rs 250 lakh on various aspects related to the Mopa international airport project, including its techno-feasibility report.

According to an AAI representative, the AAI had planned to complete works of upgrading and expansion of the facilities at the Dabolim airport by the end of 2007, however the same could be delayed due to availability of land for expansion. The expansion envisages extending the apron as well as building an additional international terminal at the airport.

Presently, the air traffic control of this airport is in the hands of the Indian navy, which earns revenues from this service on account of landing, parking, and housing charges. The domestic terminal of the airport is designed to process 350 passengers in arrivals and departures simultaneously, while the international terminal is meant for 250.

Goa’s estimated 700 chartered flights per year account for a large part of the country’s international chartered tourist flights. It is estimated that about 150 to 200 thousand foreign tourists arrive at Dabolim on chartered flights.

According to the statistics, by 2005 total passengers arriving at this airport had increased to 9,87,690 (at the rate of 1,944 domestic plus 762 international passengers per day). The figure for 2004-05 was placed at nearly 1.3 million passengers, giving a daily average of 3467.

The projection for the year 2013-2014 is 4,308 international flights and 17,980 domestic flights arriving at the Dabolim airport, annually.

-Navhind Times, Goa Daily

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