Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated Goa’s second international airport. The Rs 2,870 crore new greenfield airport which saw multiple delays due to protests over environmental concerns and Covid-19 will cater to around 4.4 million passengers per annum (MPPA) in the first phase which can be expanded to a saturation capacity of 33 MPPA. The airport will start operations from January 5, 2022.

The airport, named after former Defence Minister and Goa CM Manohar Parrikar is situated near Mopa village in North Goa and has been built on 2,132 acres at a cost of Rs 2,870 crores.

The Manohar International Airport has a 3,500-metre runway and consists of 18 check-in counters. Furthermore, it is capable of handling large aircrafts such as the Airbus A380, and also features rapid exit taxiways and six cross taxiways for quicker aircraft movement. It currently has 12 aircraft stands — five with passenger boarding bridges and seven remote parking bays.

The existing Goa International Airport in Dabolim, South Goa, handles about 8.5 million passengers per annum. It has reached a saturation point in terms of slots and passenger capacity.

“Before 2014, air travel was a luxury in India. Previous governments did not think that general class train passengers also want to travel by air. Those governments were reluctant to invest in airports. From 1947 to 2014, India only had 70 airports. We wish to spread air travel to smaller regions. In the last eight years, about 72 new airports have been developed” the prime minister shared in his speech at the inaugural function of the airport.