The developer of the new greenfield airport in Mopa will be announced by February next year, Chief Minister of Goa Laxmikant Yashwant Parsekar said on Tuesday.

“Construction work for the new airport is expected to begin by August-September next year and the first phase of Mopa should be ready in about 36 months. We expect the first flight from Mopa in 2019,” the Chief Minister announced at the inaugural of the Aviation ICT Forum 2015. The two-day aviation summit has been organised by SITA. Mopa airport is to be developed in four phases. While in the first phase the airport will handle 4.4 million passengers annually, this number will increase to over 13 million passengers annually by the time the fourth phase is completed.

Five entities, including the Airports Authority of India, GVK, GMR, Essel Infra that have been shortlisted, will be asked to give their Request For Proposal to participate in the development of the new airport by the month-end, the Chief Minister said. The opening of the new airport will not lead to the shutting down of the existing airport in Dabolim, he said.

This is unlike in Hyderabad and Bengaluru where the old airports were shut down when the new airports opened in these two cities.

“Wide-body aircraft cannot land at the existing airport. Dabolim airport has almost reached its capacity. The airport in Mopa will also have a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility apart from an aviation institute,” he added.

(The writer is in Goa at the invitation of SITA)