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Posted On : 19 Sep, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Panaji 
AAI yet to allot slots for chartered flights at Goa airport
With the Airports Authority of India (AAI) yet to decide on allotment of slots for the chartered flights at the Goa airport, the operators bringing in tourists for this beach destination are left in a quandary.

The tourist season in the coastal state is fast approaching and the first chartered flight carrying holiday- makers is expected to arrive in the first week of October.

"The season of chartered flights is supposed to start from the first week of October. However, the AAI is yet to allot them the slots for these flights," Travel and Tourism Association of Goa President Savio Messiah told PTI.

He said in absence of dedicated slots, the flight operators are apprehensive about getting tickets booked by passengers.

Messiah said the slots were supposed to be allotted in the first week of September, but the chartered flight operators are still waiting to hear from the AAI in this regard.

The international airport, controlled by the Navy and operated by the AAI, is located at Dabolim, 30km from Panaji.

It is the only airport in Goa and operates as a civil enclave in a military airbase named `INS Hansa'.

When contacted, Goa airport director B C H Negi claimed the process for allotment of slots is underway. "We have already made recommendations (on slot allotments) and sent the file to our head office," he said.

Goa, which is popular among travellers in the western countries, attracted 988 chartered flights during the tourist season lasting from October 2016 to May 2017.

These flights brought 2.32 lakh tourists from various countries, including the UK and Russia.