After three successful rounds of bidding, the Civil Aviation Ministry has approved 78 new routes under the fourth round of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme to further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.
According to an official release by the Ministry, the North-East Region, hilly states and islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new routes. 29 served, eight unserved, including two heliports and one water aerodrome, and two underserved airports have been included in the list for approved routes. Overall 766 routes have been sanctioned so far under the UDAN scheme.
Commenting on this development, Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “Following the three successful rounds of bidding, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had launched the fourth round of UDAN in December 2019 with a special focus on NER, hilly states, and islands. The awarding of these 78 routes under UDAN 4 is in line with the Act East Policy of the Central government.”
“The airports that had already been developed by the Airport Authority of India are given higher priority for the award of VGF under the scheme. Under UDAN 4, the operation of helicopter and seaplanes is also been incorporated. Since its inception, the MoCA has operationalised 274 UDAN routes that have connected 45 airports and 3 heliports,” Padhee said.
Some of the approved RCS routes 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.