The only airport in Goa is at Dabolim (65 kms) from where road transport is available. Taxis, though expensive, are the best option.
Dabolim Airport (Konkani: दाबोळी विमानतळ/Dabollim Vimantoll, pronounced [d̪aːbɔːɭĩː wimaːn̪t̪ɔɭ]) (IATA: GOI, ICAO: VAGO) is located in the village 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.
The airport was built by the government of the Estado da Índia Portuguesa in the 1950s on 249 acres (101 ha). Until 1961 it served as the main hub for the local airline TAIP Transportes Aéreos da Índia Portuguesa, which on a regular schedule served Karachi, Mozambique, Timor, and other destinations. 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).
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.
Goa’s estimated 700 flights per year account for some 90% of the country’s international charter tourist flights. It is estimated that about 150 to 200 thousand foreign tourists arrive at Dabolim on charter flights. Goa’s total foreign 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 U.K, and Russia, attention is shifting to the night and early morning hours of weekdays for accommodating such flights. Tourists from U.K to Goa by air were estimated to number about 101,000 in 2007-08 while those from Russia numbered about 42,000 (by 159 charter flights) in the same period. These were the top two foreign tourist categories. Charter flights booked by Russia for the current season numbered 240.
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