Govt approves 78 new air routes under UDAN 4.0

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New Delhi (NVI): The Civil Aviation Ministry today approved 78 new air routes under the 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme — Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), to enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.

The North-East Region, hilly states and islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new routes.

“Special boost is being given to connectivity in North East with routes from Guwahati to Tezu, Rupsi, Tezpur, Passighat, Misa and Shillong. People will be able to fly from Hissar to Chandigarh, Dehradun and Dharmshala under these UDAN 4 routes,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

Routes from Varanasi to Chitrakoot and Shravasti have also been approved Agatti, Kavaratti and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep have also been connected by the new routes of UDAN 4.0, it added.

So far, 766 routes have been sanctioned under the UDAN scheme. Of these 29 served, 8 unserved (including 2 heliports and 1 water aerodrome), and 2 underserved airports have been included in the list for approved routes.

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

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

Since its inception, MoCA has operationalized 274 UDAN routes that have connected 45 airports and 3 heliports, it added.

The ministry further stated some of the approved RCS routes which include — Guwahati to Tezu, Tezu to Imphal, Hissar to Dehradun and Rupsi to Kolkata.

While Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh; Rupsi, Assam; Bilaspur, Chattisgarh; and Hisar, Haryana are among the unserved airports, Agatti, Lakshadweep and Passighat, Arunachal Pradesh are listed in underserved airports.

The list of new approved RCS routes

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

-RJV