News:The government is planning to soon award fresh routes under its regional connectivity scheme Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik(UDAN).
About UDAN scheme:
- UDAN scheme was launched in 2016 to make air travel affordable through subsidised tickets and to provide its access to smaller towns.
- The Scheme is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was launched in June 2016.
- The idea behind the scheme is to jump-start the regional aviation market by improving profitability of under developed regional routes.
- Under the scheme, the government offers incentives to airlines to flag off new flights to neglected smaller cities and towns by providing Viability gap funding to make these operations profitable.
Significance of the scheme:
- The scheme is is first-of-its-kind that aims to create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes.
- The scheme gives India’s aviation sector a boost by giving chance to small and first-time operators to be part of the rapid growth in passenger traffic.
- The state governments would reap the benefit of development of remote areas and will enhance trade and commerce and tourism expansion.
- Airport operators will also see their business expanding as would original equipment manufacturers.
Challenges of the scheme:
- Infrastructure bottlenecks has led to lower the pace in implementation of the scheme.
- Some airports owned by State governments and private players have been hesitant in participating because of low profiting making.