Indian Navy: Goa airport's runway might not be safe
Instead, they have decided to undertake preventive runway repairs every Saturday for five hours in the morning.
However, it has warned that the state of the runway might "compromise safe operations".
Details of the Navy's plans for runway maintenance
The decision to make preventive runway repairs on Saturdays was taken after extensive deliberations with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), domestic airlines, and chartered flight operators.
The maintenance work will begin from October, after the end of the monsoons.
The decision comes as a relief to the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, which had been dreading a potential closure of the runway.
Goa is the only airport operated by the military
The Goa International Airport, also called the Dabolim Airport, falls within the Indian Navy base INS Hansa. It is operated by the Navy and handles over seven million passengers yearly, much above its five million capacity. It is Goa's only airport.
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Indian Navy warns of potential operational and safety hazards
Yet, despite agreeing to reduce maintenance periods to keep the airport operational, the Indian Navy has warned of potential dire consequences.
Officials warned that the Dabolim Airport had far exceeded its capacity pertaining to flight operations, and there was little to no time for runway maintenance.
Consequently, the deteriorating condition of the runway might pose operational and safety hazards in the months to come.
Rs. 400cr Dabolim airport expansion plan gets MOEF nod
Meanwhile, the AAI has plans for Goa.
In April, it suggested the setting up of a new international airport at a cost of Rs. 3,000cr to boost tourism in the state.
Additionally, it also proposed a Rs. 400cr expansion plan for Dabolim Airport.
The expansion plan recently received a preliminary nod from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry following an environmental impact assessment.
Airports Authority of India
Goa International Airport
Ministry of Environment and Forestry