Half the work on the new greenfield international airport at Mopa has now been completed, and GMR, Goa International Airport Limited has started recruitment for the airport.
State director of civil aviation Suresh Shanbhogue said that 75% of the work would be completed by March 2022, and at the same time, directorate general of civil aviation will start testing at the airport.
During the testing period, the remaining 25% of the work will be completed. “As of now, the target is to inaugurate the airport on August 15 (2022),” he said. Recently, GGIAL invited applications to recruit airport rescue and fire fighters.
The total cost of the project has gone up to Rs 2,615 crore because of delays due to judicial proceedings and the pandemic.
He said that the aviation skill development centre is ready. The work on the runway and the air traffic control tower is going on simultaneously. Once the airport is commissioned, “the biggest aircraft” would be able to land here, he said.
An official said that even after the infrastructure is ready, it takes around six months to secure all the necessary permissions and clearances from all the authorities to start operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the airport next year. GMR Airports Ltd, through its subsidiary GGIAL, is constructing the airport on the Mopa plateau in Pernem taluka.
As per the concession agreement, GGIAL will have the right to operate the business for 40 years, extendable by another 20 years. The airport project will be completed in four phases. Construction of the second phase will commence only after 80% of the passenger traffic is handled.
In 2018, the Centre had given an in-principle approval for the construction of an 8km-long highway from Dhargali to Varconda.
The project’s pace has been stalled by court proceedings, including judicial stay orders due to environmental issues. On January 16, 2020, the Supreme Court upheld the project’s environmental clearance and allowed construction to resume.
75% of the Mopa airport work would be completed by March 2022, and at the same time, directorate general of civil aviation will start testing at the airport. During the testing period, the remaining 25% of the work will be completed. As of now, the target is to inaugurate the airport on August 15 (2022)