Friday, April 21, 2017

Mysuru, Bidar, Ballari airports selected in first phase of UDAN bidding

Three airports in the State — Mysuru, Bidar and Vidyanagar (Ballari) — have been selected in the first phase of bidding for the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik).

While air connectivity to Vidyanagar airport will commence next month, in Mysuru and Bidar it will be from September.

The all-inclusive airfare under RCS is ₹2,500, and the airfare cap will be indexed to inflation and revised quarterly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the scheme from Shimla airport on April 27. A total of 45 airports have been selected in the first round of bidding, said Rajiv Nayan Chaube, Joint Secretary of Civil Aviation.

The Airports Authority of India, an implementing agency for RCS, will hold the second round of bidding, for providing air services to 400 unserved airports, in the next two months. The RCS is a demand-driven scheme in which airline operators bid for routes; the State can suggest any airport to be included in the unserved list.

The State government and the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding on air connectivity to three airports. The UDAN scheme intends to enable air services on unserved routes connecting regional areas, promote balanced regional growth, and make flying affordable for the masses.

According to the agreement, the Union and State governments bear the cost of viability gap funding in the ratio of 80:20. The State government will provide concessions to airlines operating under the RCS routes.

Among the concessions offered to airlines operating on the RCS routes is reduced sales tax of 1% or lower cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) at RCS airports and for RCS flights from other airports in the State for a period of 10 years. The concessions also include provision of minimum land, if required, free of cost and free from all encumbrances for development and expansion of RCS airports; provision of free security and fire services; and making electricity, water and other utility services available at concessional rates.
20/04/17 Nagesh Prabhu/The Hindu