Thursday, November 16, 2017

Centre identifies 24 airports, helipads to enhance air connectivity in Kashmir and North East India under Phase-II of UDAN

In a move to increase air connectivity and boost low-cost flights between remote, strategic areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and North East India under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), the Centre has identified airports and helipads in Phase-II of Narendra Modi's project launched this year.

According to The Indian Express, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has identified 24 airports and helipads for Phase-II of the RCS. Nine airports have been identified in Arunachal Pradesh, which borders China, five each in Assam and Manipur, two in Jammu and Kashmir and, one each in Tripura, Meghalaya, and Sikkim. Bidding for these routes under Phase-II began on 24 August.

In the first round of bidding, 128 routes that would connect 70 airports were awarded to five airlines and some of them are yet to start operations, reported PTI.

Airlines' performance and progress in starting flights on the routes won in the first round of bidding under the RCS will be taken into consideration before awarding them more routes, a senior government official told PTI.

The second round of bidding under the scheme is progressing and as many as 141 initial proposals from 17 players have been received so far. Out of the 141 proposals received, 33 of them are for helicopter flights, reported The Times of India.

Airport. Representational imageRepresentational image. AFP
"In all, operators have shown interest for flying on 502 regional routes. Of the airports they want to link, as many as 49 are currently unserved (get no flights); 15 are under-served (get less than 14 flights a week) and 38 have flight operations. Also, 24 helipads are on the wish list for round two of regional connectivity scheme (RCS). We will complete the process and then award the routes by the year-end," civil aviation secretary RN Choubey told The Times of India.
16/11/17 First Post

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