Finally, putting speculations to rest once and for all, the Mopa airport has been named as Manohar International Airport after ex-CM and ex-Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while inaugurating the Mopa airport this evening at Mopa.
Earlier, Chief Minister M Pramod Sawant in his welcome address requested the PM to name the airport after Manohar Parrikar. Goa witnessed animated debates on the issue of naming the airport for the last few days.
Besides Manohar Parrikar, Goa’s first CM Dayanand Bandodkar’s name was in the forefront. Names of other personalities like T B Cunha, Ram Monohar Lohia and Jack Sequeira were also suggested.
PM Modi said, “I am happy that the airport is name after my dear friend Manohar Parrikar."
The Manohar International Airport will initially cater to 4.4 million passengers in the first phase and later have a footfall of 13.1 million passengers.
CM Sawant assured all those gathered that the commissioning of the new airport would in no way disturb the functioning of the Dabolim airport. He assured that both the airports would help take tourism to another level in Goa.
The airport is expected to be completed in four phases and the first phase is to be operational in the first week of January 2023 with a flight from Doha, Qatar scheduled to land.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stressed that Goa is the first state in India which will operate two airports. Goa, according to the minister, has been connected with Mysore under the Udan scheme and in the near future will be connected to Nashik under the same scheme.
CM Sawant claimed that Mopa will generate employment for more 3,000 to 4,000 Goans. The airport will help further progress of the state as it is a cargo carrying airport, he added.
The Mopa airport is being built at a cost of Rs 2,870 crore on 2,132 acres of land. 232 acres of land from this is earmarked for commercial purposes.
The Mopa airport’s foundation stone was laid by MP Modi in 2016.