Wednesday 16 October 2019

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Infrastructure | Transport

Will Goa own Dabolim naval air port ?

 

With no possibility of an international air port coming up in Goa in near future, the Goa government is trying hard to get the existing naval air port transferred back to the state, to use it exclusively for civilian purpose.

The Dabolim air port, presently under the naval authorities, is partially being used for civilian purpose but with lot of restrictions. This is obviously affecting the international traffic the tourist state is demanding.

Bringing the fact to the notice of defence minister George Fernandes that Goa' economy is largely dependent on tourism and that the country is getting a bad image by not providing proper air port facilities in Goa, chief minister Luizinho Faleiro has put forward long term and short term proposals to overcome the hurdles.

Since country's biggest Sea Bird naval base is coming up at Karwar, hardly 50 Kms away from Dabolim, Faleiro feels the defence ministry should shift Goa's entire naval operations there once the Sea Bird is made operational, making the Dabolim air port fully available for civilian purpose.

The air port attends around 3000 domestic flights annually while around 500 international flights includes around one lakh charter tourists. However, the restrictions of allowing only three days for international landings and ban on night landings is affecting its further growth, despite having demand for it.

In a meting held with the defence minister and naval chief Sushil Kumar, Faleiro has requested to allow international flights throughout the week while also allowing night landings. He has also requested the defence authorities to allow air traffic controllers of the civil aviation authorities so that round-the-clock functioning would be possible.

While expressing hope that his plea would be brought into action shortly by the authorities, Faleiro however has lost all hopes in Goa having an alternate international air port. The civil aviation authorities have actually identified the site in Goa, but the proposal is put on halt along with several other proposals in the country.






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