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Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN:


Context:

The Civil Aviation Ministry has approved 78 new routes under the 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN.

  • So far, 766 routes have been sanctioned under the UDAN scheme.

About Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN:

UDAN, which stands for ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’, aims to make air travel affordable and widespread.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation had launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) in October 10 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and making air travel affordable to the masses.

  • The scheme will be jointly funded by the central government and state governments.
  • The scheme will run for 10 years and can be extended thereafter.

Viability Gap Funding (VGF):

The scheme entails making the routes financially viable, without insisting on the financial viability of the regional airports, by lowering the cost of flight operations and through financial support in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF). VGF will be available to flight operators on specific routes for the first 3 years of operation.

UDAN 4.0:

The 4th round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on North-Eastern Regions, Hilly States, and Islands.

  • The airports that had already been developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) under the Scheme.
  • Under UDAN 4, the operation of helicopter and seaplanes is also been incorporated.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When was UDAN scheme launched?
  2. Implementation and funding of the scheme.
  3. Overview of the National Civil Aviation Policy.
  4. Under the scheme, who provides Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to subsidise the airfare?
  5. Role of state governments under the scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the performance of UDAN scheme.

Sources: pib.