Goa’s Second Airport is Open – Manohar International

Goa’s Second Airport is Open – Manohar International

India’s Prime Minister has inaugurated the country’s newest airport. Located in Mopa, Goa, the facility has been named Manohar International Airport (GOX) after the former Defence Minister and the tenth Chief Minister of Goa. The first flights are planned to take off on January 5, 2023. 

Built at the cost of INR 2,870 crore (US$380m), the airport is run by the GMR Group, which also operates New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (DEL) and Hyderabad (HYD). GOX will become Goa’s second airport with Dabolim (GOI). Not to forget, this will be India’s first city that will have two international airports operating at the same time.

The new airport will initially be able to handle 4.4 million passengers. Photo: Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Goa.

The Need for a New Airport

The airport features a 3750m (12,303ft) long runway capable of handling the largest passenger aircraft. Under phase one, it can currently cater for 4.4 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and up to 33 MPPA upon saturation in later years. Meanwhile, GOI handles 8.5 MPPA, so come January, the two facilities will serve around 13 million passengers.

The Indian Navy operates GOI. Therefore commercial carriers face restrictions in operational hours throughout the day. There are three to four hours where commercial activity can’t take place. This eventually leads to heavy rush and beyond-capacity operations at free hours and peak times. GOX will help ease this and offer more convenient flight times and frequencies.

IndiGo Airbus A321neo (VT-IUV). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

What Airlines Are First-to-Fly at Manohar International?

IndiGo (6E), India’s largest carrier has already laid a fortress at the new airport, with 168 flights a week already scheduled to connect Mopa to eight domestic destinations: Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM), Pune (PNQ), Bengaluru (BLR), Ahmedabad (AMD), Jaipur (JAI), Hyderabad (HYD) and Chennai (MAA). 

Likewise, GO FIRST (G8) has published a schedule for 42 non-stop weekly flights to and from GOX. Additional airlines are expected to gradually shift to Goa’s new airport in the subsequent months of its operations.

IndiGo’s Mopa Airport Commercial “IndiGoa.” Photo: IndiGo

Featured Image: The new airport is set to welcome its first passengers in January 2023. Photo: Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Goa.

Europe and Asia Correspondent
Commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer.

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