Goa is all set to get its second airport – the first being Goa International Airport at Dabolim – in Mopa. What’s creating most of the buzz is the fact that the second airport is going to be home to casinos among other things.

The state’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced recently that these will be open only to passengers like most other facilities at an airport. What’s more, there is also going to be hotels to fit all kinds of budget along with wellness and eco resorts, as well as a shopping plaza.

While the state’s second airport is currently stuck over violation of environmental norms, there is no denying that it will be a game changer given the volume of tourists Goa attracts all round the year.

However, there’s a lot of speculation around the casinos in the state because of the negative impact they are said to have on local culture and environmental ecosystems. In fact, very recently, the state announced that the floating casinos on Mandovi river need to be relocated by the end of the year.

Since Goa’s second airport is going to be located in the Pernem taluka in the north, some of the most vibrant North Goa villages will just be a short drive away. You will be able to get to Arambol (25km), Morjim (28km), and Assagao (31km) in half the time than it takes from the one in Dabolim. Mopa airport will also make it far easier to get to places in the Konkan; Vengurla will then only be 38 kilometres away; Sindhudurg about 70 kilometres and Malvan will be 77 kilometres away.

The second airport, with about 232 acres of land for commercial development, is expected to handle an influx of around 30 million passengers and should be functional (at least the first phase) by the year 2020.