AAI’s UDAN scheme gets thumping response

Regional connectivity scheme is a key component of the national civil aviation policy unveiled by the government last year

GN Bureau | January 18, 2017


#reginal connectivity   #AAI   #UDAN  
The implementing agency for RCS (regional connectivity scheme) UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) - Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 45 initial proposals from 11 bidders covering more than 200 RCS routes. The deadline for submitting initial proposals ended on 16 January, 2017, a PIB release stated.
 
These initial proposals cover as many as 65 airports, of which there are 52 un-served and 13 under-served airports as per the provisions of the scheme. Counter-bids have now been invited against these initial proposals, the last date of submission for which is February 1.
 
Notably, with the twin objectives of promoting balanced regional growth and making flying affordable for common man, the ministry of civil aviation had launched RCS on October 21 last year. RCS is a key component of the national civil aviation policy unveiled by the government on June 15, 2016.  
 
The routes or networks will be awarded to the bidders who quote the lowest requirement of viability gap funding (VGF) against such routes. To ensure that operations on ground start with minimum time-gap after the bidding is completed, parallel action has also been initiated by the ministry of civil aviation with AAI, state governments, DGCA and bureau of civil aviation security.
 
The scheme, which would be in operation for a period of 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served regions of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. This would be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of central and state government concessions, as well as VGF to the interested airlines to kick-off operations from such airports, so that the passenger fares are kept affordable. The fare for a one hour journey of approximately 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs 2,500 under the scheme, with proportionate pricing for routes of different lengths / duration.
 

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