Dabolim facility will not be shut down: Ashok Gajapathi Raju
Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju further informed that the facilities at the existing Dabolim airport are being upgraded.
"The national growth rate in the number of fliers is 20-odd per cent per year. The rate for Goa is above the national average at 30 per cent. If you interact with the passengers at Dabolim airport, you will know that the existing airport is congested," Raju told reporters in South Goa here.
The minister, who faced a volley of questions on possibility of closure of Dabolim airport after commissioning of Mopa facility, shot back stating "If this trend of 30 per cent growth continues, then Goa airport will be choked."
"Do you want Goa to choke or you want Goa to grow? I think that Goa should grow. If you are getting an opportunity to grow, then why not. Nobody is shutting down any airport," said the minister.
Raju said the new Mopa airport would be functional in three years, by May 2020.
"Goa deserves another airport. The new airport is feasible, if it was not feasible why would the private party invest money?" he added.
The minister further informed that the facilities at the existing Dabolim airport are being upgraded.
"The existing Dabolim airport is owned by military but airport authority has civil enclave, airport authority is making investment close to Rs 300 crore including Rs 90 crore for taxi bay, which will decongest the runway. Nobody thought of ever shutting it down," said the minister.