Current Affairs

Why is CM ignoring issues raised by MoCA and Aviation Experts on Mopa?

While there are some at the Centre and state who through the highly questionable Amman & Whitney report (on a single airport model) would like the push through the greenfield international airport at Mopa, Goa; there have been a considerable number of aviation experts from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) who have been meeting with the Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and advising against the feasibility and viability of the Mopa airport at this point of time. But the government appears to be keen to go ahead with the Mopa airport plan without a viability and feasibility of both Dabolim and Mopa Airport.

GoaChronicle.com spoke to the senior MoCA experts who disagree with the A&W report saying its basic assumptions are wrong; they have done the report based on a single-airport functioning in the state and also have reached this conclusion on the basis that once the services of Mopa airport will be available to the public, the preference for the Dabolim Airport will die down, and thus that airport would have to be considered for alternate purposes.

MoCA experts have at repeated to the CM at different meetings that there is essentially five primary concerns on the Mopa Airport;

1. At this point of time Prima Facie Mopa is unviable because there has been a drop of 25 per cent in air-traffic across the world this year.

2. India has been the worst performer for 2011-12 in the aviation sector (a fact evident in the recent International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) report)

3. The impasse and decline in aviation business in India will continue for another three-four years because there is no-clear stimulus policy for civil aviation in India.

4. High-rate of Air Turbine Fuel taxation by states continues to be a major deterrent affecting the Indian aviation sector.

5. Continuation of Dabolim Airport with new terminal building is a perennial source of cheap competition to the proposed Mopa project and even the preliminary analysis of constructing a new airport at Rs 4000 to Rs 5000 crore without an in-depth and comprehensive feasibility will be disastrous for a small state like Goa.

GoaChronicle.com has already brought out the fact the both the ICAO report commissioned by the then Goa government clearly states that the dual airport concept is the least optimum model for the state the size of Goa. Even the Chief Minister then had agreed that the Amman & Whitney report had some serious flaws and that the government would initiate another feasibility and viability report for functioning of both the airport; yet till today the CM has not even commissioned another report and is proceeding with Global Tenders for the airport project in January.

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