Panaji, May 24: The central government has assured the state government of Goa that it will pump in Rs 500 crore to give a facelift to Dabolim airport.
In a bid to cope with growing air traffic congestion, particularly from charter flights, Airport Authority of India (AAI), in collaboration with the Indian Navy, had planned to build a new terminal with four aero-bridges to facilitate landing of wide-bodied aircrafts as part of strengthening the Dabolim airport at Goa.
Goa’s deputy chief minister, Wilfred de Souza, said that AAI would soon acquire nine acres of land from the Navy and start extending the airport besides pressing into service the instrument landing facility to operate in nights.
"'The Navy, which has been controlling the Goa airport, has agreed to allow direct landing of all scheduled flights in Goa instead of Mumbai even as Air India is considering starting a direct flight between Dubai and Goa,” de Souza, who also holds the tourism portfolio, said.
Several foreign private airlines including Virgin Airlines from Europe, Lufthansa from Frankfurt, Midland from Manchester and Air Arabia from Sharjah are ready to run flights directly to Goa, the minister added.
"All these steps were to strengthen the existing airport in Goa to meet the projected future traffic, which was expected to touch 4,308 international flights and 17,480 domestic flights by the year 2013-14 as against 1,402 and 7,422 flights, respectively, in 1995-96," de Souza said.