The Indian Navy has declined a request from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to give 51 acres of land for the upgradation of Dabolim airport in Goa, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
Patel said the AAI had requested the Navy to provide 7.5 acres of additional land for extending the apron at the airport. The Navy, the minister said, had in the past handed over 31.946 acres of land to the AAI at the Civil Enclave in Goa for phased expansion purposes.
“Further, 2.52 acres of land of the total 8.77 acres, which was to be given by the Navy is being disputed. The Navy has claimed that 2.52 acres of the land which has been given to the AAI by the Goa government belongs to Indian Navy and not the state government,” Patel said.
“Hence, out of the 8.77 acres to be transferred to the AAI, they have transferred only 6.25 acres and the remaining 2.52 acres is under dispute between the Navy and the state government. The AAI is yet to be given that land,” he said.
Patel said tender process for the upgradation of Dabolim airport was underway and would be completed by end-May following which, physical construction will begin. A second airport at Goa, which Patel said was needed, has to be piloted by the state government.
Replying to a separate question, he said work on the second phase of expansion of Jaipur airport will begin in 2010. The government does not decide on the routes of public sector or private carriers and it was purely a commercial decision of the airline, he added.