Tuesday 23 July 2024

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Infrastructure | Ports

Is Goa international airport financially viable ?


Financial viability of the international airport of Goa, which the central cabinet approved last week, is yet to be worked out though the civil aviation ministry is confident of the proposal coming true.

Sharad Yadav, the civil aviation minister, has already declared that the airport would be a joint venture on the lines of the Bangalore airport with the state government, Airport Authority of India and the private firm having its equity holdings.

Though the ministry expects to complete the work in five years with an estimated project cost of around Rs 1200 crore, the exact pattern of equity holding is yet to be finalised.

Avoiding a straight reply to a question whether such a huge project would be viable for a tiny tourist state of Goa, Ravindra Gupta, the civil aviation secretary, says the exercise has to be taken up by the investor. "The financial experts will prepare a project report in this regard", he adds.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is a second component of the two-party coalition government here, has already expressed scepticism about the financial viability of the international airport in the tourist state. "Let the investor come forward, then I would comment on it", quips Manohar Parrikar, the local BJP leader.

Aviation experts in the field also share a similar view, stating that no private investor would come forward for such a huge amount of investment and build the airport on BOOT basis unless immediate returns are visible.

Goa presently receives maximum 15 flights per day on an average, including nine regular domestic flights, three flights per week to Lakhshdweep, four Air India flights per week to Kuwait and two per week via Bombay and maximum eight charter flights coming from western countries on any particular day during the peak season.

The defence ministry, from whose naval airport at Dabolim the civilian traffic operates presently, has now allowed night landings and usage of the airport for almost 18 hours, though the actual operation is yet to begin. "It would primarily help in shifting some landings at night and increase in charter flights during season", says Arun Talwar, the airport director.

But this increase may not help to make the international airport a profit-making venture, feel the experts. Though the airport would also help the growing tourism industry in Sindhudurg district of South Maharashtra and North Kanara district of Karnataka, tourism has just begun taking shape in the coastal region of the neighbouring states.

Though the central cabinet has finally approved Mopa - a village on Goa-Maharashtra border in North Goa - for the international airport, the controversy over the site selection is still not over. Chief minister Francisco Sardinha has expressed his desire to shift the site.

Civil aviation minister Yadav however simply declines to disclose what transpired between him and Sardinha at the breakfast meeting during his recent visit to Goa. "At this moment, Mopa is the site for the international airport", he says, while declining to comment on whether it could be reconsidered.

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Total Comments :2

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To change the words politicians are well trained so please dont listen to dirty politician and believe blindly carry on the agitation to delay the Mopa airport works because the works get delayed more currupt news is likely to come out and So on........

shaik Issac , Goa

People of Goa need Dabolim Airport and not

Mopa. One option is open for all defeat congress government of Goa and elect who

think better for you. Congress obviously can't effort to handle even CM Kamat . This team all in one bubble do not trust them. Congress.

NCP are corrupt parties like wise Mr.Pawar

he said first no role in IPL, the outcome positive then he still on minister position not

yet resign.

Domnick Rodrigues , Goa




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