Centre gives green nod for new international airport at Mopa in Goa

The centre has given green nod for a project for the development of a greenfield international airport at Mopa village in Goa, involving a cost of around Rs3,000 crore.

The new airport, to be developed in four phases, will have a capacity to handle of 13.1 million passengers annually by the time it is completed over a 30-year period, ie, by 2045.

The new airport is aimed at facilitating both tourism and business travel.

"As per the recommendation of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), the ministry of environment hereby accords environment clearance (EC) for the project greenfield international airport at Mopa," the union environment ministry said in the letter to the Goa government.

The environment clearance given to the project is subject to the compliance of certain specific and general conditions, the letter said.

The Mopa village is located in North Goa near Maharashtra border, approximately 35 km north of Goa's capital city Panaji.

This is subject to the Goa government's Directorate of Civil Aviation ensuring availability of adequate land at the junction of the Mopa airport road and Mumbai-Goa NH-17 for traffic circulation, and provision of traffic interchanges and proposed clover.

Goa government has also been asked to get approval of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the approach and exit roads to the airport.

The final green nod has been given after the Goa government submitted before the ministry's panel, EAC, the point-wise reply to issues raised by an NGO Federation of Rainbow Warriors that had alleged flaws in the recently conducted environment impact assessment (EIA) process, sources said.

In the first phase, the state government proposes to develop one runway, with half parallel taxi-way, three runway exits by 2020 to accommodate annual passenger capacity of 4.4 million. The estimated cost of the project in Phase I would be Rs1,500 crore.

In July, the Goa government had said tenders for new airport at Mopa would be finalised by December 2015.