“68 airports have been operationalised for the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) flights since UDAN started.”
India wants to operationalise 100 airports by 2024 subject to availability of supporting infrastructure such as land, statutory approvals, etc., reported IANS.
According to officials, 68 airports have been operationalised for the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) flights since UDAN started.
Selected Airline Operators (SAOs) have started operations on 425 UDAN routes involving 68 airports/heliports/water Aerodromes across the country. SAOs have been operating many routes even after completion of three years of exclusivity period under the scheme.
Covid-19 pandemic had adversely affected the aviation sector, including domestic RCS flight operations and passenger demand came down drastically making the operation of flights unviable.
The government introduced certain policy reforms for sustainability of operations of RCS-UDAN post Covid-19. These operational and financial flexibilities/relaxations and economising measures were mutually beneficial for all stakeholders by maintaining the benefit of air connectivity to passengers.
Central Government and State Governments share Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in the ratio of 80:20 whereas for the States in North-Eastern region/Union Territories (UT”s) the ratio is 90:10
A recent reply in Parliament said that the primary objective of RCS was to facilitate/stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable. Promoting affordability of regional air connectivity was envisioned under RCS by supporting SAOs through concession by Central Government, State Governments/UTs and airport operators to reduce the cost of airline operations on regional routes and financial (Viability Gap Funding or VGF) support to meet the gap, if any, between the cost of airline operations and expected revenues on such RCS routes. Central Government and State Governments share Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in the ratio of 80:20 whereas for the States in North-Eastern region/Union Territories (UT”s) the ratio is 90:10.
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