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Goa airport to have new terminal with 4 aero-bridges

Written by: Staff

Panaji, May 13 (UNI) In a bid to cope with the burgeoning air traffic, particularly from abroad, the Airport Authority of India(AAI) in collaboration with the Indian Navy had planned to build a modern new terminal with four aero-bridges to facilitate landing of wide bodied aircrafts as part of strengthening the Goa airport.

The Union cabinet is likely to give a green signal on May 15 to this proposal discussed at length at a high-level meeting Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had with goa Deputy Chief Minister Dr Wilfred De Souza, AII chairman K Ramalingam, Deputy Chief of Naval staff Vice Admiral G S Bedi, secretary Ajay Prasad and joint secretary Sanjay Narain of the Ministry in New Delhi yesterday.

Briefing media persons about the outcome of the meeting soon after his return here from Delhi today, Mr.D'Souza said the AAI would soon acquire nine acre land from the Navy and start extending the airport apron to facilitate landing of bigger crafts besides pressing into service the instrument landing facilility to operate in nights.

''The Navy,which has been controlling the Goa airport, has agreed to allow direct landing of all the scheduled flights to Goa instead of Mumbai shortly, even as Air India is considering starting a direct flight from Dubai to Goa and back,'' Dr D'Souza said.

Several of the foreign private airlines including Virgin Airlines from Europe, Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Midland from Manchester and Air Arabia from Sharjah were ready to run their flights directly to Goa avoiding circuitous routes, he said.

They were examining the economic viability of such direct operations while the Union Ministry was studying the reciprocity of running flights directly from Goa to respective foreign destinations, he said.

All these steps were to strengthen the existing airport in Goa to meet the projected future traffic which was expected to run 4308 international flights and 17,480 domestic flights by the year 2013-14 as against 1402 and 7422 flights respectively in 1995-96.

The Indian Oil Corporation(IOC) would soon be asked to close its road running across the airport runway and operate its traffic through an alternative route to facilitate expansion of the airport without any hitch.

There was no provision at the Sea Bird naval base now at Karwar in neighbouring Karnataka for landing of the military aicrafts and hence the question of INS Hansa's shifting from Goa would not arise he said quoting the vice admiral.

Asked whether this development meant giving up of the proposal of setting up a modern airport at Mopa in North Goa, Dr D'Souza said it was for the six-member central committee headed by-Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane to decide.

He however added South Goa MP Churchil Alemao, who launched a vociferous campaign against Mopa airport that sharply divided even the ruling Congress in the state, was happy over the current development.


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