Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said UDAN, which is scheduled to be inaugurated today, will make “air travel accessible to a wider range of citizens”. Hailing the scheme, PM Modi said the it “enhances connectivity with many more airports across India.” PM Modi will flag off the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme, on Shimla-Delhi sector at Shimla airport. “Looking forward to being in Shimla, where I will flag off the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme, on Shimla-Delhi sector,” PM Modi tweeted. PM Modi will also flag off the inaugural UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors. “Inaugural UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors will also be flagged off,” PM Modi tweeted. ‘UDAN’ (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) is a scheme under which the fares of flights will be capped at Rs 2500 per seat per hour.
‘UDAN’ is a first-of-its-kind scheme globally to stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism, the PMO had said in a tweet. “To make air travel accessible to citizens in regionally important areas, the ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ RCS (regional connectivity scheme) was launched in October, 2016,” it added.
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The UDAN Scheme is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released on June 15, 2016. “Airfare for a 1-hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500,” the PMO said. “This with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths and flight duration,” it said. According to an official statement, 24 airports in the western region, 17 in northern region, 11 in southern region, 12 in east and 6 in north-eastern parts of the country are proposed to be connected under this scheme.
Under this programme, the government intends to connect 45 unserved and under-served airports. Five airlines were awarded 128 routes under the scheme last month after a bidding process, according to PTI report.