Thursday, October 19, 2017

RCS second round winners likely to be announced by mid-Dec

The winners of the second round of bidding under the regional air connectivity scheme are likely to be announced by mid-December, a government official said today.

The scheme, also known as Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN), seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports as well as make flying affordable for the masses.

A senior civil aviation ministry official said winners of the second round are likely to be announced by mid-December.

In the second round, which started on August 24, the initial bidding process is scheduled to be completed on November 2. Subsequently, the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) routes on which operators want to fly would be clear.

As part of the multi-phased bidding process, the counter bids are to be invited from November 5 till November 27. Once that process is over, the ministry would take a final call and the winners in the second round are expected to be announced by December 15, the official said.

According to the official, since most of the major airlines, including IndiGo and SpiceJet, have expressed interest in RCS, they might have applied in the second round of bidding.

As many as 128 routes connecting 70 airports were on offer in the first round of the RCS.

Against the backdrop of slot constraints at Delhi airport, the operators would have to start RCS flights from Hindon airbase in case they plan operations from the national capital.

The official said stakeholders have been informed about Hindon airbase being available for flights in the second round of the RCS bidding.

Delhi airport operator DIAL has accepted the ministry's proposal on temporary use of Indian Air Force's Hindon airbase for RCS flights.
The ministry had mooted the idea because of slot constraints at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here.
18/10/17 PTI/ZeeBiz
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