Operating as a shared civilian and Indian military airfield in the state of Goa, Dabolim Airport sits in the small town of Dabolim, about 4 kilometres from Vasco da Gama and 29 kilometres from the state capital of Panjim. It is the gateway for tourism in the region, handling numerous charter flights and routes for low-cost air carriers.
The Sagar Pawan Navy aerobatic team uses the airport as a base for public air shows displays, and the Navy operates a naval aviation museum nearby. Travellers to the extended Goa district enjoy a short cruise up and down the Mandovi River, departing from the Captain of Ports jetty in Panaji on lively journeys with music, dancing and dining. Foodie tourism is on the rise, cantered on the cashew nut and Goan cashew liquor, as well as port wines and spicy Goa “choricao” sausages.
A pre-paid taxi booth outside the airport terminal offers rides to surrounding towns and villages, including Panaji, and local buses at the airport go as far as Vasco da Gama, for connections to Panaji. Minibuses and high-speed or regional trains offer more options for extended travel. For rides to Dabolim or even as far as Panaji, popular options for light travellers are rickshaws and motorcycle taxis.
A part of India for decades now, Goa was once a Portuguese province before being annexed by India in a military operation. The Indian Navy under control of Major General K.P. Candeth occupied the airport until relinquishing control to the Union Territory of Goa in June 1962. It now thrives as a tourist destination and getaway spot for Indian nationals and an increasing number of foreign visitors.