Goa Airport caters to all the international and domestic tourists who come to see the picturesque land. Goa International Airport is located at Dabolim, 30km from capital Panjim. Various domestic and international airlines operating from Goa Airport are Indian Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, and Air Deccan. The airport extends to an area of 688 hectares. There are two Public Works Department (PWD) terminal buildings operated by the public sector Airports Authority of India. The Goa Airport is one of the few profitable airports of the Airport Authority of India.
Goa Airport was built by the Government of Estado da india Portuguesa, the Portuguese ruled enclaves in Goa, in the 1950’s. In April 1962, it was occupied by the Indian Navy's air wing, when Major General K.P. Candeth, who had led the successful military operation into Goa, handed over the airport to the navy. The Air traffic control of Goa Airport still rests with the Indian navy, which earns revenue from this service on account of aircraft movements. However, there are demands in the local political circles now, to restore the civilian status of the airport, by relocating the Indian army’s air station to a new base.
Spread over an area of 688 hectares (1,700 acres), Goa Airport comprises of two terminal buildings, operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The domestic terminal, built in 1983, covers 2,000 sq m (22,000 sq ft), while the international terminal, built in 1996, has 1,000 sq m (11,000 sq ft) of space. The remaining area has been reserved for other service areas. The parking space can accommodate 84 cars and 8 buses, but has been reserved for staff vehicles. Private cars and buses have to be parked outside the airport premises.
Military Flight Training
Military flight training is carried out at Goa Airport, five days in a week. During the training hours, civilian flights are not allowed to operate from the airport. Rarely, exceptions have been made to this rule, chiefly for international airlines. The blocked time is about 15% of the total time, on a weekly basis. Charter airlines, which carry international tourists during the season, use the free civil aviation regimes on weekends.
Plans to upgrade Goa Airport were announced in 2006 and are currently underway. A new international passenger terminal will be constructed at the airport, after the existing one is converted into a domestic terminal. There are also plans to add more aircraft stands, over an area of four hectares. Delays caused in transfer of the required land from the navy have held up the up-gradation proceedings.
The domestic terminal of Goa Aiport can process 350 arrivals and departures at a time, while the international one is meant for 250 arrivals and departures. AT present, 30-40 flights operate from the airport daily.
Terminal 1 (Domestic)