PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday informed the legislative assembly that the Dabolim airport, which is a part of the Indian Navy’s base, will not be shut down due to the commissioning of Manohar International Airport (MIA) in North Goa.
Raising the issue on the floor of the House, Independent MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco alleged that officials of GMR were pressuring the Indian Navy to take full control of the Dabolim airport.
The MLA claimed that the number of flights at Dabolim airport had decreased since the MIA was commissioned.
The airport, located in South Goa, is part of the naval base INS Hansa.
During the discussion, Sawant said a decision was taken in the Central cabinet that the Dabolim airport will continue operations even after the MIA is commissioned.
He reiterated that the airport will continue functioning even in the future.
The state government has entered an agreement with GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), under which Goa will get 37 per cent of the gross revenue earned from May 2024 onwards, the chief minister said.
Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao alleged that the Dabolim airport would be turned into a “ghost airport” to help the MIA.
Alemao pointed out that the number of domestic flights at Dabolim airport had dropped from 5,095 in January 2023 to 3,510 in December 2023.
He further claimed there was a 31 per cent decline in international flights from 372 in January 2023 to 259 in December 2023.