Dabolim Airport

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Dabolim Airport
Goa-Vasco 03-2016 12 Dabolim Airport.jpg
Terminal building of Dabolim International Airport
Airport typePublic / military
OwnerGovernment of Goa & Indian Navy[1]
OperatorAirports Authority of India
ServesPanaji, Dabolim, Vasco Da Gama
LocationDabolim, Goa, India
Focus city forAirAsia India
Elevation AMSL56 m / 184 ft
Coordinates15°22′51″N 073°49′53″E / 15.38083°N 73.83139°E / 15.38083; 73.83139Coordinates: 15°22′51″N 073°49′53″E / 15.38083°N 73.83139°E / 15.38083; 73.83139
Map of Dabolim Airport
Map of Dabolim Airport
GOI is located in Goa
GOI is located in India
Direction Length Surface
m ft
08/26 3,430 11,253 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2021 – March 2022)
Passengers5,133,851 (Increase 80.1%)
Aircraft movements39,601 (Increase 81.8%)
Cargo tonnage4,468 (Increase 18.1%)
Source: AAI[2][3][4]

Goa International Airport (IATA: GOI, ICAO: VOGO) is the international airport in Dabolim, Goa, India. It is operated by the Airports Authority of India as a civil enclave in an Indian Navy naval airbase named INS Hansa. The airport is located in Dabolim, 4 kilometers from the nearest city Vasco da Gama, 23 kilometers from Margao, and about 30 kilometers from the state capital, Panaji.[5]

The airport's integrated terminal was inaugurated in December 2013. It was designed by Creative Group, an India-based architecture firm. In fiscal year 2017–2018, the airport handled over 7.6 million passengers and 8.36 million in fiscal year 2019–2020.[6] Several European charter airlines fly to Goa seasonally, typically between November and May. Flights from the UK (London Gatwick and Manchester Airport) are operated by TUI Airways. There are also several seasonal charter flights to various Russian cities.

Because of capacity constraints at the terminal and air traffic congestion due to a strong military and naval presence, a second airport at Mopa was proposed. It is under construction with scheduled completion in August 2022, with operations starting from September 2022.[7][8][9]


The airport was built in 1955 by the Government of the Estado da Índia Portuguesa, on 249 acres (101 ha) of land, as the Aeroporto de Dabolim, which was later officially renamed to Aeroporto General Bénard Guedes.[10] Until 1961, the airport served as the main hub of the Portuguese India's airline TAIP (Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa), which on a regular schedule served Daman, Diu, Karachi, Mozambique, Portuguese Timor, and other destinations.

During the Annexation of Goa, in December 1961, the airport was bombarded by the Indian Air Force with parts of the infrastructure being destroyed. Two civilian planes that were in the airport – a Lockheed Constellation from TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) and a Douglas DC-4 from TAIP – managed to escape with refugees, during the night, to Karachi.[11] In April 1962, it was occupied by the Indian Navy's air wing when Major General K. P. Candeth, who had led the successful military operation into Goa, "handed over" the airport to the Indian Navy before relinquishing charge as its military governor to a Lieutenant Governor of the then Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu in June 1962.

For civilian air travel out of Vasco da Gama and Goa, the Indian Navy and the Government of India invited the public sector airline (known now as Indian) to operate at Dabolim from 1966 after the runway was repaired and jet-enabled. A new domestic terminal building was built in 1983, designed to process 350 arrivals and departures simultaneously, while the international terminal, built in 1996 was designed for 250.

Once two vital road bridges across the main waterways of Goa were built in the early 1980s, and Goa hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 1983, the charter flight business began to take off at Dabolim a few years later, pioneered by Condor Airlines of Germany.[citation needed]

In 2006, the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry announced a plan to upgrade Dabolim Airport. This involved constructing a new international passenger terminal (after converting the existing one to domestic) and adding several more aircraft stands over an area of about 4 hectares (9.9 acres). The construction was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2007.[12] However delays in transfer of the required land from the Navy held up proceedings.

The modernisation project of Goa Airport was one of 35 airport expansion projects undertaken by the AAI and, in terms of size and money, was its third largest project after the ones at Chennai and Kolkata airports.[13] It included the construction of an integrated terminal building to replace the older terminals, a multi-level car parking (MLCP) facility to accommodate between 540 and 570 cars and construction of additional parking stands for aircraft. The AAI acquired additional land from the Indian Navy and the State Government for apron expansion and the expansion of the older international terminal building complex.[14] The foundation stone for the terminal was laid on 21 February 2009, the project work began in May 2010 and construction of the terminal began in May 2011.[13] The terminal can handle 2,750 peak hour passengers, cost 3.45 billion and was inaugurated on 3 December 2013.[15]



The airport is spread over 688 hectares (1,700 acres) (and possibly 745 hectares or 1,840 acres[clarification needed]) and consists of a civil enclave of nearly 14 hectares (35 acres), an increase from its original size of 6 hectares (15 acres). The civil enclave is operated by the AAI. Of the 180 flights daily,[16] there is a very large concentration of civilian traffic in the period between 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm during weekdays, with the balance in the early morning hours. This is because of naval restrictions for military flight training purposes throughout the year. In September 2017, the AAI and the Indian Navy entered into a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to construct a full-length, parallel taxi track suitable for Boeing 747 type of aircraft and agreed to share the cost of construction.[17] The environmental clearance for the project was received in January 2018. The project, which involved development of a 3,710 metre long parallel taxi track along with associated facilities, would be completed in three phases.[16] The first phase was completed by November 2019.[18] The completed taxiway was opened in December 2019. It raised the capacity of the runway from 15 air traffic movements (ATMs) per hour to 18-20 ATMs per hour.[19]

The Navy's premises straddle the Dabolim runway and consequently its personnel would cross the runway at one point (on foot or bicycles or in vehicles) between flights. As part of the works taken up in 2018, a peripheral road was built and the local traffic would no longer affect flight movement.[18]


Model of the new integrated terminal building on display
Departing area at Goa Airport
Waiting hall on the second floor of the old terminal

The airport's integrated terminal building handles both international and domestic passengers. It was opened in December 2013. The building design features aesthetic glass, large steel span structures and frameless glazing. The 36,000 square metre terminal is designed to cater to five million passengers annually. It is equipped with eight aerobridges. The terminal features an in-line baggage scanning system and a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant.[20] It has 75 check-in counters, 22 immigration counters for departures, 18 immigration counters for arrivals, 14 security check booths and eight customs counters. The basement of the four-level terminal has utilities like electricity and cargo handling. The check-in counters are placed on the ground floor while the first floor has security check booths. The second floor has the security hold area where passengers may wait before boarding an aircraft.

The old terminal buildings were closed after the commissioning of the new terminal.[21]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The main apron area of the airport
An Indian Airlines Airbus A320 parked at the airport
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo (resumes 2 November 2022)[22]
Air Arabia Sharjah
AirAsia India Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow,[23] Mumbai
Air India Agra,[24] Bengaluru, Delhi, Dubai–International, London–Heathrow, Mumbai, Sharjah, Surat
Alliance Air Bengaluru,[25] Hyderabad,[26] Mumbai, Mysuru[27]
Go First[28] Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai,[29] Nagpur
IndiGo Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Kannur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Surat[30]
Oman Air Muscat
SpiceJet Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Rajkot, Surat[31]
Qatar Airways Doha
TUI AirwaysSeasonal: London–Gatwick (begins 2 November 2022), Manchester (begins 1 November 2022)[32]
Vistara Bengaluru,[33] Delhi, Mumbai

Economic factors[edit]

Dabolim's air traffic control is in the hands of the Indian Navy, which earns revenues from this service on account of aircraft movements. Landing fees are of the order of 17,000 (US$210) each while Route Navigation Facility (RNF) Charges are about 7,400 (US$93). The Airports Authority of India could be eligible for aircraft parking fees of 10,000 (US$130) per day. It receives a part of the passenger service fee which is shared between it and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The AAI's prime source of earning is from non-traffic services like passenger facilitation, car park, entry tickets, stalls, restaurants and shops at the main terminal building and advertising boards.

Capital expenditures (such as for runway expansion) at the airport are covered by AAI. The Dabolim Airport runway has increased from about 6,000 feet (1,829 m) initially to 11,345 feet (3,458 m) as of April 2013[34] and can accommodate Boeing 747s. There is a shortage of night parking bays which are at a premium in metro airports like Mumbai. A local association has estimated that about 40 hectares are needed for the civil enclave in comparison to the 14 hectares earmarked at present.[35]


Annual passenger traffic at GOI airport. See Wikidata query.
Statistics for Goa International Airport[36]
Year Total passengers % change
2016 6,434,790 Increase16.46%
2015 5,375,555 Increase19.1%
2014 4,513,201 Increase16.2%
2013 3,999,535 Increase12.9%
2012 3,542,747 Increase0.6%

By 2005, total passengers had increased to 987,700 (1944 domestic plus 762 international passengers per day, year unspecified).[37] The figure for 2004–05 was placed at nearly 1.3 million, giving a daily average of 3,467.[38] The airport director has claimed that 2.2 million passengers used the airport in CY 2006. This rose to about 2.6 million in CY 2007. The airport is ranked among the top ten in the country in terms of passenger traffic. Airport authorities consider that it has been operating at saturation levels since 2004.

Today, Goa's estimated 1200 international flights per year account for some 93% of India's international charter tourist flights. It is estimated that about 300 to 350 thousand international tourists arrive at Dabolim on charter flights. Goa's total international tourists (roughly double the charter passengers) account for 5–10% of the national figure and 10–15% of the country's foreign exchange receipts from tourism. As the weekend morning hours approach saturation due to waves of chartered flights especially from the United Kingdom and Russia, attention is shifting to the night and early morning hours of weekdays for accommodating such flights. Tourists from UK to Goa by air were estimated to number about 300,000 in 2013–14 while those from Russia numbered about 49,000 (by 280 charter flights) in the same period.[citation needed]

Naval station at Dabolim[edit]

INS Hansa is India's biggest naval airbase.[39] The air station of the Indian Navy at Dabolim was transferred here from the Sulur Air Force Base in Coimbatore after the liberation of Goa from colonial Portuguese rule in December 1961. In 1983, the Indian Navy began inducting the BAE Sea Harrier into service, basing training activities at Dabolim.

The Harriers were replaced by MiG-29KUBs in 2016.[40] INS Hansa is also the site of Asia's first Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), built in 2014 to train pilots of the MiG-29K for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.[41]

INS Hansa is home to several squadrons of the Indian Navy, operating aircraft such as Mikoyan MiG-29Ks, Kamov Ka-28s, Ilyushin Il-38s, Dornier 228s. The Navy's Sagar Pawan aerobatic team is also based at Dabolim.

Apart from being a naval airbase, INS Hansa hosts the Coast Guard Air Enclave (CGAE) - Goa and also sees regular exercises by Indian Air Force aircraft. The Navy also operates a naval aviation museum near Dabolim Airport.

Military flight training[edit]

Military flight training at Dabolim is carried out on five days of the week from 0830 hrs to 1300 hrs, during which civilian flights cannot operate. Some exceptions have been made on rare occasions by the naval ATC, chiefly in the case of foreign airlines. Charter airlines carrying international tourists during the season tend to use the freer civil aviation regimes on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and in the early morning hours. The blocked time is about 15% of the total on a weekly basis albeit during peak morning hours for civilian flights.

Campaign to revert to civilian status[edit]

There has been a demand in local political circles for the restoration of Dabolim's civilian status by relocating the Indian Navy' air station to the proposed Karwar airfield in the new INS Kadamba naval base at Karwar, 70 kilometres (43 mi) south of Dabolim in the adjoining state of Karnataka. However, the Indian Navy's top officers in Goa have hinted that the investment at Dabolim naval air station is 7.5 billion (US$94 million) and that it would be impossible to replicate this at Karwar.[42]

In early 2007, there were reports of a concerted move by the Navy, the AAI, and the state of Karnataka to extend the runway planned at the naval base at Karwar to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) to accommodate Airbus A320s and to acquire 75 extra hectares for this purpose.[43] In 2011, the Navy affirmed that Hansa would retain its assets and position as an important station for the Indian Navy, despite the commissioning of INS Kadamba.[39]

Air cargo[edit]

An estimated 5,000 tonnes (5,500 short tons) of cargo were handled annually as of a few years ago[when?] and may have declined since then. Most air cargo is carried in the belly-space of airlines such as Air India rather than in dedicated freighters. As of 2016, all domestic cargo is handled at Dabolim airport. GoAir, Vistara and other airlines use AAI's facilities, including machines, to process cargo during non-peak hours. AAI has plans to build and operate a 24x7 cargo terminal at Dabolim in the old international terminal. Once completed, the common user terminal for cargo would be able to cater to both domestic and international cargo flights on a continuous basis.[44]

Ground transportation[edit]

Passengers can reach the airport using taxis, buses, trains, or automobiles. Public buses go to the nearby city of Vasco da Gama, approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) away, and also stop at the closer Chicalim bus stop, about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the airport. Local mini-buses connect both Vasco da Gama and Chicalim to the airport. Pre-paid taxis are available from the airport, but these are yellow and black colored like government taxis. If you want pre-book cab you can use cabgoa.com, cabgoa.com is leading taxi service in Goa. There are various new transportation plans in the works, including the addition of a second bridge. Meanwhile, plans for a 6-lane, north-to-south expressway are on hold in Goa. A monorail system is also being considered. All these plans have implications for the proposed Mopa Airport and its link to Dabolim and Goa's population centres.

Railway tracks of Indian Railways, which also run through Goa, pass beside the airport. The nearest station is Dabolim railway station. The port at Mormugao is located about 5 km (3.1 mi) away. Konkan Railway provides services to Margao in South Goa, Tivim in North Goa, Carambolim, and Ponda.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 1 October 2002, two Ilyushin Il-38s collided and crashed near Dabolim Airport, killing 12 naval personnel in the planes and three civilians on the ground.[45][46][47]
  • On 15 October 2012, two pilots and a technical sailor on board a HAL Chetak helicopter of the Indian Navy were killed after the helicopter crashed whilst landing towards the eastern side of the runway.[48]
  • On 27 December 2016, Jet Airways flight 9W 2374, a Boeing 737-800, took a 360-degree spin as it veered of the runway damaging the landing gear. Of the seven crew members and 154 passengers, 15 passengers suffered minor injuries.[49][50]
  • On 3 January 2018, a MIG-29K fighter aircraft of the Navy with an trainee pilot crashed off the runway during takeoff at the Goa airport. There were no casualties.[51]
  • On 17 December 2019, a SpiceJet Flight SG 3568, a De Havilland Canada Dash 8, was on final approach for landing when the runway controller noticed that the nose landing gear was not deployed. He immediately alerted the ATC tower and informed the aircraft to abort the landing and make a second attempt after a go around. The second attempt proved unsuccessful. In the third attempt the landing gear was partially deployed and the aircraft safely landed at the Goa Airport. There were no casualties.[52]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Business Standard (16 May 2010). "Two airports likely for Goa". Business Standard India. Business-standard.com. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Annexure III - Passenger Data" (PDF). www.aai.aero. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Annexure II - Aircraft Movement Data" (PDF). www.aai.aero. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Annexure IV - Freight Movement Data" (PDF). www.aai.aero. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  5. ^ "Airports Authority of India". aai.aero. 21 September 2011. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Leading airports across India in financial year 2020, by number of passengers handled(in millions)". statista. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  7. ^ "GMR Infra to develop Mopa airport in Goa". The Economic Times.
  8. ^ "Goa government notifies planning area at Mopa". The Times of India.
  9. ^ "Mopa airport in North Goa to start flight operations from September 1". Zee News. 8 June 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  10. ^ "Os Transportes Aéreos da India Portuguesa". goancauses.com (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  11. ^ Gabriel de Figueiredo. "A tale of a Goan Airport and Airline". Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  12. ^ Dabolim airport upgrading will be over by end of 2007. The Hindu. Retrieved on 18 February 2007
  13. ^ a b "New Dabolim terminal to be ready by June". The Times of India. 8 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  14. ^ "New international terminal building for Goa Airport". Press Information Bureau. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  15. ^ "New Integrated Terminal Building Inaugurated at Goa Airport". Press Information Bureau. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  16. ^ a b "AAI, Navy explore feasibility of more flights from Goa airport". The Times of India. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  17. ^ "Construction of Parallel Taxi Track at Dabolim Airport, Goa" (PDF). Environmentalclearance.nic.in. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Goa airport taxiway to be ready by November". The Times of India. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Goa: North parallel taxi track opened for air traffic at Dabolim Airport". ANI. 21 December 2019. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  20. ^ "New Dabolim airport to be ready by year-end: Manickam". The Navhind Times. 19 April 2012. Archived from the original on 21 June 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  21. ^ "Soft opening of new Dabolim airport terminal on 19 Dec". The Navhind Times. 8 November 2013. Archived from the original on 23 May 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  22. ^ "Russian tourists to return to Goan beaches this winter as Aeroflot announces resumption of flights". India Narrative. 24 September 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  23. ^ "AirAsia India to Lucknow". Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Air India begins weekly flight between Agra and Goa". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  25. ^ Alliance Air [@allianceair] (17 November 2021). "Alliance air announces flights between Bangalore and Goa" (Tweet). Retrieved 17 November 2021 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ Alliance Air [@allianceair] (10 March 2022). "Now fly HYD <--> GOI daily" (Tweet). Retrieved 15 March 2022 – via Twitter.
  27. ^ "Alliance Air Schedule". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  28. ^ "Budget airline GoAir rebrands as Go First".
  29. ^ "Domestic And International Flight Schedules-GoAir Airlines". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  30. ^ "Flight Schedule For Domestic And International Flights-Indigo". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  31. ^ "SpiceJet Flight Schedule". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  32. ^ "TUI Flights Timetable". TUI Airways. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  33. ^ "Flight Schedule". Vistara. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  34. ^ "Goa – VAGO". World Aero Data. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  35. ^ HASG. Series of four infomercials titled "Save Dabolim Save Goa" in Herald and Navhind Times. March/April 2006.
  36. ^ "azfreight.com". Azworldairports.com. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  37. ^ "The Skies Open Up Over India." Travel Daily News. 26 October 2005.
  38. ^ Data for April 2005 and 2006 are given in an Airports Authority Of India report.
  39. ^ a b "INS Hansa will retain its importance: Navy". The Economic Times. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Indian Navy to bid adieu to Sea Harriers on May 11 in Goa". The Economic Times. 14 July 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  41. ^ "Asia's first SBTF commissioned into Indian Navy at Goa". The Hindu. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  42. ^ D'Cunha, C. "Room for more flights at Dabolim: Adm. Mehta". Goa Plus (The Times of India supplement). 5 January 2007.
  43. ^ Government Exploring Possibilities opening of Karwar Airport for Civilian Air Services Press Information Bureau Government of India
  44. ^ "Bid to build cargo terminal at Dabolim suffers setback". The Times of India. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  45. ^ Category: Aircraft. "Illyushin Il-38". Bharat-rakshak.com. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  46. ^ "Two Navy aircraft collide in Goa, 15 dead - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  47. ^ "Collision carnage at celebration". telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  48. ^ "Navy copter crashes at Dabolim airport; 3 killed". The Navhind Times. Navhind Papers & Publications. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  49. ^ "Jet Airways Flight Veers Off Goa's Dabolim Airport Runway". NDTV.com. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  50. ^ "Goa Jet Airways accident: 15 passengers suffer minor injuries; DGCA begins probe". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  51. ^ "Navy's MIG-29k crashes off runway while taking off at Goa airport". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 3 January 2018. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 January 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  52. ^ "Goa airport: Major accident involving SpiceJet flight averted". livemint.com. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Goa International Airport at Wikimedia Commons