Sunday, February 05, 2023

Budget gives larger wings to regional connectivity scheme UDAN

While the last couple of months witnessed consistent growth in the aviation traffic in the country, the budget announcement to revive 50 aircraft landing sites comprising airports, heliports and water aerodromes is likely to give larger wings to the government's ambitious aviation scheme, Regional Connectivity Scheme Udan.

"Fifty additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes and advanced landing grounds will be revived for improving regional air connectivity," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.

The importance of the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) can be gauged from the fact that the RCS has seen a doubling of allocation in this year's Budget since the last allocation and has increased from Rs 600 crore to Rs 1,244 crore.

The government had launched RCS-UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) in October, 2016 to enhance regional air connectivity from unserved and underserved airports in the country and making air travel affordable for the masses.

Under the scheme, 459 UDAN routes involving 72 airports including nine heliports and two water aerodromes have been operationalised across the length and breadth of the country. Over 1.13 crore passengers have travelled in more than 2.16 lakh UDAN flights, so far.

Nine heliports have been developed and operationalised under the UDAN scheme in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Mandi and Rampur are in Himachal Pradesh while Almora, Chinyalisaur, Gaucher, Haldwani, New Tehri, Sahastradhara and Srinagar are in Uttarakhand.

05/02/23 IANS/Economic Times

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