Amidst the debate over the loss of traffic at the Dabolim airport once the greenfield international airport is commissioned, Oman Air became the first major commercial carrier to confirm it will use Mopa for its operations from January 1 next year.
Oman Air in email communication to its frequent flyers has said it will operate from the new Mopa International Airport from January 1, 2023, even though there is no formal dateline set as yet by the regulatory authority Director General of Civil Authority for the new airport’s commissioning for commercial flights.
In the communication, Oman Air has also said it will stop operating from the current Dabolim airport.
“Dear Guest, Beginning January 1, 2023, all Oman Air flights arriving to and departing from Goa will operate out of the new Mopa International Airport (GOX). Oman Air flights will no longer operate from Goal International Airport (GOI). For more details, please visit www.omanair.com. Fly confidently, fly Oman Air,” the email communication said.
The sensitive issue of Dabolim eventually losing out to Mopa to an extent that its civilian commercial operations altogether shutting down has been debated off and on in Goa ever since the second airport was proposed at Mopa two decades ago.
The issue recently surfaced again and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had once again reiterated that Dabolim airport will never be permitted to be shut down.
“We will ensure fair division of commercial operations. May be international flights will use Mopa and domestic will use Dabolim,” Sawant had said recently adding that he will discuss and finalise the matter with the concerned authorities.
The Mopa airport is awaiting its ‘aerodrome licence’ from the DGCA, and can go operational after that.
Sawant has announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new airport, where landing and take-off of a commercial airplane has successfully been conducted.
The Goa government project is being executed on a BOOT basis by the Concessionaire GMR Airports Limited. Its foundation stone was laid by Modi back in 2016 and is being built in four phases and will eventually have the capacity to handle 13.1 million passengers annually.