According to the Economic Times report, Goa’s Dabolim International Airport may have to cease operations after December 2021 unless the Ministry of Defense (MoD) grants a permit for the airport from a private regulatory body.
Dabolim International Airport is a civilian and military airport located in Dabolim, a village 4 km from Vasco da Gama in Goa, India. The airport is located 30 km from Panaj, the capital of the state. It is spread over an area of 702 hectares and serves Goa and Vasco da Gama.
The airport handled 3.54 million passengers and 27,690 aircraft movements in 2012.
Dabolim International Airport was built by the government of Estado da Índia Portuguesa. It is currently owned by the Goa State Government and the Indian Navy and is operated by the Indian Airport Authority. Daborim International also serves as a military launch pad.
“The airport handled 3.54 million passengers and 27,690 aircraft movements in 2012.”
The airport operates more than 700 international flights annually, accounting for approximately 90% of India’s international charter tourism flight operations.
To reduce traffic congestion at Dabolim Airport, a new airport will be built in Mopa, northern Goa. The operation of Daborim Airport is restricted due to the joint use of the navy and the private sector, so a new public airport construction was proposed.
According to a report in the Economic Times, the Federal Department of Civil Aviation and the Civil Aviation Administration have made a written request to the Federal Department of Defense to allow civilian regulators to license the airport.
“International flights departing from military-owned airports such as Goa, Pune and Srinagar may be suspended after December 2021 as international regulations require a permit from the Civil Aviation Administration (DGCA) to continue international flights. However, the military has always resisted moves to approve these airports for clearance from civil aviation regulators because they do not want civilians to enter sensitive facilities inside the airports, the ET report said.
At the 2018 International Transport Ministers’ Meeting in Beijing, the country’s regulators decided not to allow international flights to and from airports not authorized by the country’s regulators, the ET report said. According to reports, the deadline for completing licenses for these airports was December 2020, and it has been extended until December this year due to COVID-19.