The government has aimed to connect 41 airports and helipads in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
The results of second round of bidding under regional connectivity flights UDAN scheme that seeks to connect unserved areas of the country were announced on Wednesday by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. The government awarded 325 routes to airlines as well as helicopter operators under its regional connectivity scheme (RCS) with an emphasis on enhancing flight services to hilly and remote areas, including Kargil on Wednesday.“We are going to witness tremendous momentum in subsequent rounds as well of UDAN, it is an innovative one-in-a-kind market mechanism which we have developed in India and it has brought in a revolution,” Civil Aviation Minister said.
1) A total of 56 new airports and helipads are being connected to 36 existing ones.
2) These include major domestic players such as SpiceJet (20 routes), IndiGo (20), Jet Airways and Air India subsidiary Alliance Air.
3) Of the total 56 new airports and helipads, the latter account for 31, i.e., nearly 70 percent. With the emphasis strongly on enhancing connectivity to remote and hilly terrain in the northeast and hill states, 40 percent of the total routes awarded today at 129.
4) The government has aimed to connect 41 airports and helipads in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Uttarakhand.
5) Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey illustrated how small cities will enjoy improved flight services.”For the first time Kargil will have connectivity. Darbhanga is going to be connected to Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai. Hubli is going to be connected to nine other cities in the country. Kannur in Kerala is going to be connected to eight cities. There will be flights from Pakyong in Sikkim to Delhi, Guwahati and Kolkata. Allahabad is getting connected to 12 cities in the country,” Choubey said.
6) “There were a total 117 million passenger trips in 2017. The number of seats being added because of UDAN 1 and 2 is 50 lakhs. This year we will fly 120-130 million passenger trips. So, if you look at the seats we have added (under UDAN) it is 3-4 percent of the total. But since these are vitally important because they are bring connectivity to a large number of remote areas,” Jayant Sinha said.
7) In order to fund the subsidy, Airports Authority of India will also be providing partial contribution from its dividend share, in addition to the levy of Rs 5000 per flight being imposed on non-RCS operations.
8) AAI has given Rs 200 crore for RCS in the current fiscal, and is likely to contribute Rs 500 crore in the next fiscal.
9) The second round of RCS will need VGF of Rs 620 crore, while the first round required Rs 213 crore.
10) UDAN I and II will collectively expected to cost the government over Rs 800 crore each year.