News: Government has inaugurated the newly constructed Hisar airport in Haryana from Chandigarh under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).
- Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme: It was launched in 2017 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The scheme is a component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), 2016.
- Aim: To develop a regional aviation market. It seeks to connect under-served and unserved airports in India through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.
- Create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes.
- Development of remote areas and enhancing trade and commerce and tourism expansion.
- Employment creation in the aviation sector.
- Duration: The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years.
- Key Features of the scheme:
- Under the scheme, airlines have to cap airfares for 50% of the total seats at Rs. 2,500 per hour of flight.
- This would be achieved through (1) a financial stimulus in the form of concessions from Central and State governments and airport operators and (2) Viability Gap Funding– A government grant provided to the airlines to bridge the gap between the cost of operations and expected revenue.
- The partner State Governments (other than North Eastern States and Union Territories where contribution will be 10 %) would contribute a 20% share to this fund.
- Regional Connectivity Fund would be created to meet the viability gap funding requirements under the scheme.The RCF levy per departure will be applied to certain domestic flights.
- Phases Under the Scheme:
- UDAN 1.0 and 2.0: During RCS-UDAN version 1.0 & 2.0, 66 airports were identified and 31 heliports (28 unserved heliports and 3 unserved airports).
- UDAN 3.0: During UDAN version 3.0, to increase the tourism potential at the coastal areas, Tourism routes in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism and Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes were included.
- UDAN 4.0: The focus of UDAN 4.0 is on priority areas like North East Region, Hilly States, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Islands.