What does the news say?
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the governing establishment at the Centre has greatly expanded the civil aviation sector over the last few years in an effort to add to the wings of the government’s flagship UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced an expansion of its ambitious plan, stating that as of January 31, 2023, 73 unserved and unserved airports, including 9 heliports and 2 water aerodromes, have been operationalized through the UDAN scheme. In an effort to strengthen the aviation industry’s infrastructure as domestic traffic soars to new heights with a year-over-year surge of 48.9%. The “Revival of Unserved and Under-served Airports” programme, which calls for the development and renovation of 100 unserved and under-served airports, helipads, and water aerodromes by 2024, has received approval from the Central Government, the ministry announced in its statement.
Up till the conclusion of four rounds of bidding, the unserved and underserved airports or airstrips in the state of Punjab, namely Ludhiana, Adampur, Bhatinda, and Pathankot, have been identified under the UDAN scheme. The Ludhiana, Adampur, Bhatinda, and Pathankot airports saw the launch of UDAN flight operations by the Selected Airline Operators. According to a statement from the government, Selected Airline Operators have received a grant from the Viability Gap Financing amount of Rs 2355 crore as of January 31, 2023 for the assistance of initiatives that are economically justified but not financially viable.
What is UDAAN stand for?
The Ministry of Civil Aviation introduced UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) on October 21, 2016 to increase regional air connectivity and open up air travel to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Since UDAN is a market-driven programme, interested airlines submitted offers during the bidding process based on their evaluation of the market potential on specific routes. In order to promote the UDAN scheme and expand regional air connectivity, the government has committed to build 100 airports by 2024. It also has plans to operationalize 1,000 routes across India.
When was the UDAN plan for building regional airports introduced?
The UDAN programme began in October 2016 with this aspiration of the average person. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself launched off the first UDAN-funded flight in April 2017 from Shimla to Delhi. The government makes up for airline losses brought on by low tickets by providing Viability Gap Financing (VGF).
What state spearheaded the Udaan Yojana?
The Rajasthani government’s Udaan plan is one of a kind and avant-garde. For the first phase of this programme, the women and child development department has been given Rs 200 crore, he continued.
Conclusion: According to the ministry, the Airport Authority of India and other airport operators estimate that it will cost close to Rs 98,000 crore to expand and modernise existing terminals, improve runways, build Greenfield Airports, and build new terminals nationwide by 2025. Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, announced during the presentation of the budget that 50 new airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing grounds would receive facelifts to improve regional air connectivity and passengers’ experiences.