Airport Show
13 - 15 May 2025

Goa’s Manohar Int’l Airport Takes Flight; Anticipates 8M Capacity Increase by Late 2024

(Photo Credit: CNN Travel)

Goa's aviation and tourism industries are set for a boost, with Manohar International Airport (MIA) in Mopa preparing to expand its passenger handling capacity. The airport, which began operations in January 2023, is expected to see its annual capacity reach 8 million passengers by June–July 2024. This marks a substantial increase from its current capacity of 4.4 million.

Developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) model by GMR Goa International Airport Ltd. (GGIAL), the airport boasts a modern infrastructure designed to efficiently manage a growing influx of travellers. 

In this article

A Look at the Numbers

Inaugurated in January 2023, Manohar International Airport has witnessed a remarkable journey, garnering worldwide attention. Its rapid growth and development undoubtedly reflect the airport's ambition to become a major aviation hub in India.

  • Infrastructure: State-of the-art terminal building, Code E/F-compliant runway, extensive taxiways, and more.

  • Passenger Experience: Awarded "Best Passenger Experience Design" by the Confederation of Indian Industry in 2023, with a 4.9 out of 5 satisfaction rating. The airport also offers passengers a unique Goan experience with curated fragrances, art, cuisine, and live music.

  • Sustainability Initiatives: Achieved the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Platinum Rating for the airport’s passenger terminal.

  • Cargo: Manohar International Airport is capable of handling diverse cargo (pharmaceuticals, perishable goods, etc.) thanks to its temperature-controlled cargo terminal.

To accommodate the anticipated rise in passenger traffic this year, the airport has taken significant measures to upgrade its infrastructure. The number of passenger boarding bridges will be increased from 5 to 7, in order to streamline the experience of passengers from boarding to disembarkation. Additionally, remote parking bays will be expanded from 9 to 12, enhancing the airport's ability to handle a larger volume of aircraft.

"[We intend to increase] the aircraft movements to 135 and the number of passengers daily to around 21,000 by March next year," stated GGIAL President and CEO RV Sheshan, in their interview with the Economic Times.

Propelling the Goan Economy

A key aspect of this expansion strategy involves attracting more airlines and establishing connections to new destinations.

  • The recent launch of FLY91, which will make Mopa its home base, is a positive step in this direction. 

  • Qatar Airways will soon commence flights linking Mopa to Doha, further strengthening the airport's international network. Currently, international connections exist for London Gatwick, Manchester, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat. 

This focus on expanding flight options aligns with Goa's tourism strategy to draw in visitors from various international markets. Goa, renowned for its beautiful beaches, laid-back atmosphere, and rich cultural heritage, is poised to attract even more visitors with this enhanced air accessibility. This, in turn, attracts a wider range of tourists, increasing the state’s economic activity, with benefits for hotels, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. 

What’s more, while job opportunities in Goa have traditionally been primarily concentrated in hospitality and tourism, this new greenfield airport has opened doors to various new sectors, creating exciting job prospects for local residents.

A Prime Model for Public-Private Partnerships

Manohar International Airport exemplifies the success potential of public-private partnership (PPP) models in infrastructure development. Spread across a sprawling 2,132 acres, the airport's construction and operation rely on a collaborative effort between the public sector and private entities like GGIAL. This PPP approach has expedited the airport's development and is likely to contribute to its continued growth in the future.

Goa’s Bright Future

The expansion of Manohar International Airport holds promise for Goa's economy, especially in bringing the aviation and tourism sectors to even greater heights. With its ambitious capacity increase, focus on new destinations, and ongoing infrastructure development, the airport is well-positioned to become a vital gateway for tourism and economic prosperity in the region.

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