In a big boost for regional air connectivity in India, as many as 415 air routes have been operationalised under the government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme – Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).
These 415 RCS routes involve 66 airports including two water aerodromes and eight helipads, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation General (Retired) V K Singh said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Thursday (31 March).
So far, Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency of the RCS-UDAN scheme, has awarded 948 valid routes to Selected Airline Operators (SAOs) across the length and breadth of the country involving 154 RCS airports including 14 water aerodromes and 36 helipads, the minister said.
“Selected Airline Operators (SAOs) have operationalised 415 RCS routes under the Scheme as on date (27.03.2022), involving 66 airports including 2 water aerodromes and 8 helipads,” he said.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had launched RCS-UDAN scheme on 21 October 2016 to enhance regional air connectivity from unserved and underserved airports in the country and making air travel affordable to the masses.
UDAN is a market driven scheme and the interested airlines based on their assessment of demand on particular routes, submit their proposals at the time of bidding under UDAN, the minister said.
The minister further informed that the total receipt or collection in the Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT) is Rs 2,458.95 crore and Viability Gap Funding (VGF) disbursed to the SAOs under UDAN up to 21 March is Rs 1,784.39 crore.