Final contours of a scheme for bolstering regional air connectivity are likely to be ready by the middle of this month.
While it is in the advanced stages of finalising the ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), the Civil Aviation Ministry has also issued draft rules proposed to be part of the Aircraft Act with respect to RCS.
Under the scheme, announced in the new civil aviation policy, the ministry has proposed capping fares at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights on unserved and underserved routes besides various financial concessions for airlines.
A senior ministry official today said comments from various stakeholders have been received on RCS and the final framework is likely to be ready by September 15.
Meanwhile, the ministry has sought public comments on the draft rules under the amend the Aircraft Act, 1934 for incorporating provisions related to RCS.
As per the draft rules, the central government may establish the Regional Air Connectivity Fund for the purpose of providing viability gap funding to aircraft operators to promote regional air connectivity. The fund would be administered and utilised in the manner as may be specified by the central government.
“In order to fund the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, the central government may impose a levy on scheduled flights being operated within India at such rates as the central government may notify having regard to the seating capacity of the aircraft used for the scheduled flights and the routes on which such flights are operated,” the draft rules said.
Last week, the government notified excise duty of 2 per cent for jet fuel purchased from airports that come under RCS.
RCS refers to operation of an air transport service between any two airports, of which at least one has been declared by the central government as unserved or under- served, according to the draft rules.
There are 394 unserved and 16 underserved airports in the country.