Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (Apr 27) launched UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) – the Regional Connectivity Scheme for civil aviation, from Shimla Airport in Jabarhatti, 22 km from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
“The lives of the middle class are being transformed and their aspirations are increasing. Given the right chance they can do wonders,” said the PM.
“Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities are becoming growth engines. If aviation connectivity is enhanced in these places, it will be beneficial,” Modi added.
Under this scheme, flights have already begun to operate from Shimla, Nanded and Kadapa airports.
Pertinently, the UDAN scheme was first launched on Oct 21, 2016 by Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju. The scheme was to take off in January this year.
Here is all you need to know about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s latest ambitious project – UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik):
1. PM Modi flagged off first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme, on Shimla-Delhi sector, followed by Kadapa-Hyderabad and the Nanded-Hyderabad sectors.
2. The next flight under the UDAN scheme will operate on the Mumbai-Nanded sector.
3. The UDAN scheme is meant to restore air connectivity of the under-served and unserved airports of India.
4. The UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme aims to connect as many as 70 airports of India. These airports include 27 currently served airports, 12 currently under-served airports and 31 currently unserved airports.
5. As many as 17 out of the 70 airports are located in the North, 12 in East, 6 in North-East, 11 in South and 24 in West.
6. The UDAN scheme will operational for 10 years.
7. Under the UDAN scheme, airfares have been kept as cheap as Rs 2500 for a one-hour journey of 500 km (approx) on a fixed-wing aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter.
8. Alliance Airlines has put its 42-seater ATR plane in operation on the Delhi-Shimla sector. It will offer 35 seats on Delhi-Shimla journey and only 15 on Shimla-Delhi journey.
9. Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the implementing agency of UDAN scheme.
10. The Narendra Modi government said it will create a “Regional Connectivity Fund” to meet the funding gap under this scheme.
You may like to read
11. Interested airline and helicopter operators may start operating on “un-connected” routes as well. For this they have to submit their proposals to the AAI.
12. Selected airline operator has to ensure that they offer minimum nine and maximum 40 seats on subsidized rate for UDAN flights.
13. For helicopters, the reserved seats should be minimum 5 and maximum 13.
14. The frequency of flights on each route should be minimum three and maximum seven per week.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.