‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Naa­grik’

The Re­gional (Air) Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme – by an­other Name !

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & Inindia -

On 21 Oc­to­ber 2016 two decades af­ter the demise of Vayu­doot, In­dia’s first and thus far only re­gional/com­muter/third level air­line, the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion took yet an­other step to­wards “mak­ing fly­ing a re­al­ity for the small town com­mon man”, with Civil Avi­a­tion Min­is­ter P Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju launch­ing the Min­istry’s much awaited Re­gional Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme UDAN in New Delhi. This time, how­ever, it was to be an in­no­va­tive scheme “to de­velop the re­gional avi­a­tion mar­ket, a mar­ket­based mech­a­nism in which air­lines bid for seat sub­si­dies. This first- of- its- kind scheme glob­ally will cre­ate af­ford­able yet eco­nom­i­cally vi­able and prof­itable flights on re­gional routes so that fly­ing be­comes af­ford­able to the com­mon man even in small towns.” En­ter the UDAN.

Mr Raju ex­pressed the hope that first flight un­der the scheme would be able to take off by Jan­uary 2017 and said that the scheme had been pre­pared af­ter a lot of stake­holder con­sul­ta­tions and called for sup­port “from all play­ers to make it a suc­cess”. Also speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha said that ob­jec­tive of the scheme was Ude Desh Ka Aam Naa­grik (UDAN) stat­ing that this scheme would en­sure “af­ford­abil­ity, con­nec­tiv­ity, growth and de­vel­op­ment, pro­vide a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all stake­hold­ers, cit­i­zens would get the ben­e­fit of af­ford­abil­ity, con­nec­tiv­ity and more jobs”. While the Cen­tre would be able to ex­pand the re­gional air con­nec­tiv­ity and mar­ket, State gov­ern­ments would reap the ben­e­fit of de­vel­op­ment of re­mote ar­eas, en­hanced trade and com­merce and ex­pan­sion of tourism. For in­cum­bent air­lines there was “the prom­ise of new routes and more pas­sen­gers while for and start-up air­lines there is the op­por­tu­nity of new, scal­able busi­ness. Air­port op­er­a­tors will also see their busi­ness ex­pand­ing as would orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers. “UDAN en­vis­ages pro­vid­ing air con­nec­tiv­ity to un-served or un­der-served air­ports of the coun­try through re­vival of ex­ist­ing air strips and air­ports. The scheme would be ac­tive for a pe­riod of 10 years.”

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