Goa International Airport (IATA: GOI, ICAO: VOGO), more commonly known as Dabolim Airport, is an international airport located in the city of Dabolim in Goa, India. It is the only airport in the state and operates as a civil enclave in a military airbase named INS Hansa. It is 4 km from the nearest city Vasco Da Gama, 23 km from the South Goa district headquarters of Margao, and 30 km from the capital city Panjim.
The airport was built by the government of the Estado da Índia Portuguesa in the 1950s on 249 acres (101 ha) of land. Until 1961 it served as the main hub for the local airline TAIP Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa, which on a regular schedule served Daman & Diu, Karachi, Mozambique, Timor, and other destinations. During the Indian invasion 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, one from TAP Portugal and the other from Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa (TAIP) managed to escape during the night to Karachi. 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 in June.
The earliest international (i.e. non-Portuguese) tourists to Goa may have been the flower children of the 1960s. They used the overland route, by road or rail, from Bombay (now Mumbai), detouring via Poona (now Pune), to north Goa's secluded beaches. A sea route was also available. 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. Road and rail travel remains the mainstay of journeys between Goa and places like Mumbai and Bangalore, though they take 12–15 hours nowadays (down from 24 hours at one time).
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 Rs 17,000 each while Route Navigation Facility (RNF) Charges are about Rs 7,400. The Airports Authority of India could be eligible for aircraft parking fees of Rs 10,000 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. With such revenues at an estimated Rs 900 million, Dabolim Airport is one of only a dozen "profitable" airports of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
The airport is spread over 688 hectares (1,700 acres) (and possibly 745 hectares or 1,840 acres) and consists of a civil enclave of nearly 14 hectares (35 acres), an increase from its original size of 6 hectares (15 acres). There are two terminal buildings operated by the public sector Airports Authority of India (AAI) which are Public Works Department (PWD) brick and mortar structures with a total floor space of 12,000 square metres (130,000 sq ft). Of this, a domestic terminal comprises 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft) and there is an international terminal that comprises 1,000 square metres (11,000 sq ft). The remaining space is for other service areas.
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. 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 to 570 cars and construction of additional parking stands for aircraft, among others. 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.