UDAN 4.0: All you need to know about the Regional Connectivity Scheme
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, under the fourth round of regional connectivity scheme, UDAN ('Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik) a total of 78 additional routes has been approved. Under this scheme, financial incentives from the Centre and state governments and airport operators are extended to selected airlines. This is done to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports and also to keep airfares affordable.
78 new routes have been approved by the Civil Aviation Ministry under the fourth round of Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN to boost the connectivity in the North East, hilly states, and islands.
As per the ministry " Till now, 766 routes are sanctioned under the UDAN scheme, 29 served, 08 unserved (including two heliports and one water aerodrome), and two underserved airports have been included in the list for the approved routes."
Usha Padhee, aviation ministry joint secretary said, "The airports that had already been developed by Airport Authority of India are given higher priority for the award of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the Scheme. Since its inception, MoCA has operationalised 274 UDAN routes that have connected 45 airports and three heliports."
About UDAN 4.0
In December 2019, the fourth round of UDAN was launched. It focussed on North-Eastern Regions, the hilly states, and islands. Under the scheme, the airports that already been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of VGF (Viability Gap Funding). Let us tell you that under, UDAN 4.0, the operations of helicopter and seaplanes is also been incorporated.
Some of the new 78 new routes are:
Guwahati to Tezu
Tezu to Imphal
Imphal to Tezu
Guwahati to Rupsi
Rupsi to Kolkata
Kolkata to Rupsi
Bilaspur to Bhopal
Hissar to Dharamshala
Hissar to Chandigarh
Hissar to Dehradun, etc.
What is UDAN Scheme?
The full form of UDAN is 'Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik'. Its main objective is to make air travel affordable and widespread. The scheme is a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP). It is funded jointly by the Government of India and the state governments.
Salient features of the UDAN Scheme:
- The duration of the scheme is 10 years.
- In the UDAN scheme, airlines participating are selected via a competitive bidding process.
- The Central government will provide: for participating airlines a subsidy to cover Viability Gap Funding (VGF), concessional GST is provided on booking tickets using the scheme, and under the policy codesharing for flights.
- Certain measures are extended by the state government: for 10 years, reduction in GST to 1%, to facilitate refuelling facilities, coordination with oil companies, to provide land for airport and ancillary development, trained security personnel, and utilities at subsidy rate. Also, 20% of VGF.
Concessions provided by the Airport operators like AAI are:
- At participating airports, there will be no parking, landing, and storage charges.
- Terminal Navigation Landing Charges (TNLC) are also Nil.
- It allows the ground handling by the airline selected through the bidding process.
- On UDAN-RCS flights by AAI, Route Navigation and Facilitation Charges (RNFC) will be applied but on a discounted rate of 42.40% of Normal Rates.
What is the Viability Gap Funding (VGF)?
It means the financial support provided to the Selected Airline Operator for the operation of RCS Flight(s) from the Regional Connectivity Fund pursuant to this Scheme.