PANAJI: The first passenger flight arrived at the Manohar International Airport in Goa from Hyderabad on Thursday, marking the commencement of operations at the new facility in the coastal state.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said this was a “big achievement” for the state and the Centre.
The IndiGo flight from Hyderabad carrying 179 passengers landed at 9 am at the new airport located at Mopa in North Goa district, airport officials said.
Union Minister Shripad Naik, the parliamentarian from North Goa, CM Sawant and state Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte welcomed the passengers at the terminal building of the airport.
There was also a live band performance outside the airport to welcome the passengers.
With the Mopa facility, Goa has got another international airport which is located 50 km apart from the south Goa-based Dabolim facility, operated as a civil enclave in the Indian Navy’s air station INS Hansa.
“This is a big achievement for the state and central governments. Goa has two airports from today onwards,” the chief minister told reporters outside the airport.
Sawant said total 11 flights will arrive at the new airport on Thursday.
Another passenger flight of IndiGo was the first to depart from the new airport in Goa to Hyderabad, sources said.
Naik and Khaunte presented symbolic dummy boarding passes to the passengers who left by that flight.
Khaunte said the new airport will provide impetus to the tourism growth in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the first phase of the new airport on December 11, 2022.
The airport has been named after late Manohar Parrikar, the former defence minister who had also served as the chief minister of Goa.
The first phase of the Rs 2,870 crore Mopa airport project will cater to around 4.4 million passengers per annum (MPPA), which can be expanded to a saturation capacity of 33 MPPA, an official earlier said.
The airport has been built on the theme of sustainable infrastructure and has a solar power plant, green buildings, LED lights on the runway, rainwater harvesting, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant with recycling facilities, among other such facilities.
It has adopted some of the best-in-class technologies like 3-D Monolithic Precast buildings, StabilRoad, Robomatic Hollow precast walls, and 5G compatible IT infrastructure.