Saturday, August 26, 2017

Northeast India’s air connectivity to get major boost with deployment of small aircraft & choppers!

Giving a major boost to air connectivity in hilly and island regions of the country through helicopters, ministry of civil aviation has relaxed a few norms to attract more players. The ministry, under its second edition of UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, is also trying to give more connectivity to regional places. Some of the major relaxations include dilution of exclusivity clause that mandated that only one airline flies on one route in the initial years.

It has also relaxed the rule that the origin and destination airports must be 150 km apart to qualify for the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) under which fares are capped at Rs 2,500 per hour of flying. The ministry claims these initiatives will connect new destinations through air routes, allow travelers to save time and enable people from small-towns to take their first flights.

While announcing the scheme, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said that at present there are only close to 200 commercial helicopter services, and in a country like India, it has the potential to go up to 2,000.

If the scheme is successfully implemented, the air connectivity to difficult terrains of Jammu and Kashmir, northeast India, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep will get a major push. The ministry has marked these regions under priority areas. The winners of the second round of bidding under UDAN are to be announced by November-end.
26/08/17 North East Daily