The opening of the airport “Mopa” in Goa is planned for 2015
The idea to build the second airport in Goa has been discussed since 2000 and became the reason for long public scandal which still continues to these days. The fact is that for the future airport was chosen the platform near Mopa village (Pernem, North Goa), at the border with the state of Maharashtra, and in about 80 kilometers from Dabolim airport.
At the same time the project assumed the subsequent closing of Dabolim airport. Arguments of the government were so: Dabolim airport isn't subject to sufficient widening; it has no potential to operate with large cargo flights or large passenger airliners. Secondly, Dabolim is after all the military airfield which is meant for civil functions. Thirdly, there is a rule that the airports have to be situated at distance of at least 150 kilometers.
The inhabitants of South Goa protested against such prospect, being anxious that Dabolim's closing will turn the tourist stream in other direction, and the hotel business in South Goa will incur excessive losses. There was speculation that the government passes interests of Goa and promotes the redirection of a tourist stream to the neighboring state of Maharashtra. The most part of opinions is added up to that Goa is the small country, one airport is enough, and it has to be in the central part as Dabolim.
On a wave of civil unrest the political opposition expanded the scandal and in public space they began to say about corruption and abuse of power, that many members and those, closed to the Cabinet got the large land parcel near Mopa to resell them later at inflated prices.
Some oppose against the project with the view to nature preservation and Goan identity. There was widespread the last letter of the former minister of tourism Matanhy Saldanha, in which he expressed his disquiet that the Goans are threatened by prospect to become minority in own country. Also they say that builders have already done the terrible harm to Pernem woods. Besides, on Mopa's plateau there live people of Normand tribe (Dhanagar) and nobody has answered clearly about their further destiny yet.
In 2010 “Mopa's” project was officially introduced. The government approved the building of new international airport, and to calm down the public opinion it refused plans to close Dabolim airport, but by way of exception from existing rules.
The building project expects about 400 million investments in state-private partnership. The new airport will be able to operate with any flights, even the huge Airbus-380 and will serve at least 4,4 million passengers a year. Mopa's airport will have the terminal of the highest class.
At the same time there passes the widening and renovation of Dabolim airport that gets the air passenger bridge and additional platforms.
The opening of Mopa airport is planned for 2015, but tenders for building will be announced in September, 2012. The winning firm will acquire the right to building running for the 30-year period. The representatives of 13 firms from Germany and Canada will be appointed as consultants of building.