New Dabolim airport to be ready by year-end: Manickam

BY SUDESH BHOSLE | NT

VASCO: Construction work of the new integrated international terminal building of the Dabolim airport is going on in fill swing and about 60 per cent of the work has been completed till date, airport director, Mr Paul Manickam said, adding the construction work was kicked off about eleven months ago in May 2011.

The total investment cost of the project is `500 crore and is awarded to the Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd, a company based in Chennai. The project is expected to get completed by the end of December this year, Mr Manickam added.

The new integrated international terminal building was the need of the hour considering the fast growth of the air traffic. The state-of-the-art integrated international terminal building would be equipped with in-line baggage scanning system. It would accommodate nearly about 2750 passengers per hour. There would be four aerobridges coming up at the new integrated international terminal building in the first phase, while the remaining seven aerobridges would be constructed in the ultimate phases, he further said.

According to available statistics, the air traffic movement during the year 2011-12 stood at 28,210 aircraft landings including those from international and domestic airlines with 35,24,884 passengers, as against 24,638 aircraft landings with 30,81,256 passengers in the previous year.

"The aircraft movement increased by 14.50 per cent, while passengers notched up to 12.60 per cent which shows the rate of traffic movement and passengers arriving in the tourist destination state of Goa in India has increased tremendously," Mr Manickam said, adding that the operation of the new integrated international terminal building would enhance the aircraft landings and also would ease the tourists arriving at the airport in a bigger way.

It has been disclosed that the airport is all set to create a new record this year in terms of operating highest number of 850 international charter flights till May first week, which is the end of the chartered season.

Meanwhile, aviation sources disclosed that presently the lack of facilities like parking, fuel firm, barracks for security forces, cargo backup and airline backup offices are worrying the aviation industry.

The sources said that the full potential of the airport could be realised only if supporting facilities like cargo and airline backup, fuel firm besides others come up for which is land is the main criteria and added that this could be fulfilled if the state government provides full co-operation to the Airport Authority of India (AAA).

The ancillary facilities at the new integrated international terminal building are very important; AAI has requested the state government to make available 50,000 to 60,000 square meters of land.

It was informed that the inspection of the land required by the AAI was held earlier jointly by the concerned authorities including state government officials.

The AAI is waiting for clear and practical decision to emerge — the required land has to be contiguous with the airport area.

Now, with the construction of new integrated international terminal building going on at a fast pace, the AAI is giving stress on providing other infrastructural facilities for the convenience of foreign as well as domestic passengers.

An underground power cable has been laid connecting the airport to the Sancoale power sub-station at the cost of `2 crore, once it becomes operational it would facilitate uninterrupted power supply.

The other facility being made available at the airport is the state-of-the-art sewerage treatment plant which would be commissioned very shortly. The new building will be totally environmental friendly.

Presently, the passengers at the airport are put to a lot of inconvenience whenever the international as well as domestic terminal encounters power problem.

The power problem directly affects the functioning of the air condition unit and this problem has been a major headache for AAI. Likewise, the stink coming out from the drainage at the airport terminal building is also making negative impact on the thousands
of air passengers.