There should be no opposition to Mopa airport: TTAG

Panaji: Amidst political opposition for the proposed Greenfield airport at Mopa, the Goa tourism industry feels that the new facility is a must to address the growing needs of passenger and cargo traffic in the state.

Travel and Tourism association of Goa (TTAG), an umbrella organisation of tour operators, has said that Dabolim airport which is currently managed by Indian Navy will not be able to handle futuristic aircrafts and does not have cargo airplane handling facility. "The Union government has already clarified that the Dabolim airport will be retained even after Mopa is constructed. There should be no opposition to new airport," TTAG spokesman Ralf D`Souza told PTI.

United Goans democratic party (UGDP), one of the regional political outfits, has expressed its opposition to Mopa airport, which will be tendered to run on built, own, operate transfer (BOOT) basis by September, this year. The party has expressed fears this new project on northern border of the state will spell doom for the tourism in the Southern part of the state.

D`Souza pointed out that Dabolim airport is being expanded with construction of new terminal building, creation of apron space to park aircrafts and aero bridges for the passengers. The airport, D`Souza said, has limited scope of expansion as Indian Navy is also operating its base (INHS Hansa) from there.

He said that once Mopa is commissioned, that is somewhere in 2015, it will be able to host wide bodied aircrafts carrying 700-900 passengers. Goa`s development as a cargo hub is also possible only through the new airport, D`Souza added.