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GMR Airports wins bid to construct brand new airport in Goa

GMR Airports has been given the green light to develop a brand new airport in Goa, after a competitive bidding process. The firm, which runs Delhi and Hyderabad airports, will build the Mopa Airport on a greenfield site in Goa in four phases, to help expand air capacity. When completed, it is expected to have capacity for 13 million passengers a year.

GMR Airports wins bid to construct brand new airport in Goa

After a competitive bidding process, GMR Airports has been given the go-ahead to build a brand new airport in India’s popular coastal state of Goa. The company currently runs Delhi and Hyderabad airports, and has worked on projects in Turkey and the Philippines.

Mopa airport will be built on a greenfield site on the Mopa plateau in northern Goa and will cost GMR Airports INR30 billion (US$446 million) to construct under a 40-year concession. The airport will be built in four phases, with capacity for 4.4 million passengers in the first phase, which will grow to 13 million by the time the project is completed.

The decision to approve GMR Airports to develop the new facility comes more than 15 years after the Indian government initially approved plans for the airport. The company won the bid in a competition with Airports Authority of India, and a group including the Incheon airport group in South Korea.

The new facility will take pressure of the existing Dabolim Airport which handles up to 4.9 million passengers per year, but cannot expand due to the airport’s military use. Mopa Airport will expand air capacity, providing more routes to the popular coastal state of Goa.

Goa is India’s most popular holiday destination and every year, thousands of Indian and foreign travellers visit the western state to enjoy its beautiful palm-fringed white sand beaches, sapphire sea, and tropical spice plantations.

The coastline is dotted with picturesque fishing villages and the region has become a popular tourist destination over the past few decades. Once a Portuguese colony for almost 500 years, Goa has the crumbling ruins of what was once magnificent architecture, including 16th-century churches, historic cathedrals, and grand mansions.

Holidaymakers can relax on Chapora beach, swim in tranquil waters off the palm-fringed Agonda Beach, surf the rolling waves at Calangute, and play beach games on Cavelossim beach with its black rock and white sand. One of the best places to go scuba diving is St. Georges Island or Grand Island where divers and snorkelers can explore its colourful coral reefs and colourful marine species.

Some of Goa’s leading tourist attractions include the Dudh Sagar Waterfall, the Shree Manguesh temple, Dudhsagar Plantation, the Goa Science Centre and Naval Aviation Museum in the capital Panaji. Nature enthusiasts will love Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Chorao, and the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary with leopards, elephants, jungle cats, and deer.

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