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AAI receives 45 initial bids under Regional Connectivity Scheme

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 45 initial bids from 11 parties to fly routes under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) launched by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The initial bid proposals covers more than 200 routes and as many as 65 airports, 52 of them not served by any airline and 13 under-served airports. Now, Government has invited counter-bids against these initial proposals.

After that, these routes will be awarded to bidders who quote the lowest Viability Gap Funding (VGF) requirement against the routes under the RCS.

About Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)

  • The RCS aims to boost air travel in Tier II and Tier III cities by capping fares at Rs 2,500 per one hour flight. The AAI is the implementing authority of the scheme.
  • Its objective is to make flying affordable for the masses, to promote tourism, increase employment and promote balanced regional growth.
  • As per the scheme, the Union Government will subsidise the losses incurred by airlines flying out of dormant airports to allow airlines to charge Rs. 2,500 for an hour’s flight to passengers.
  • About 80% of the subsidy will be collected by charging a levy of up to Rs. 8,500 on each departing flight of domestic airlines and the rest 20% will come from the respective state governments.


Union Cabinet gives nod to Civil Aviation MoU between India and Singapore

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore on cooperation in the field of civil aviation.

The MoU was signed in November 2015 between Airports Authority of India (AAI) on behalf of Union Government and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) on behalf of Government of Singapore) during Prime Minister’s visit to Singapore.

Key facts

  • Objective of MoU is to establish mutual cooperation in the field of civil aviation between both countries.
  • It will cover airports of Jaipur and Ahmedabad to begin with cooperation and later will be extended to other airports with mutual consent.
  • The include collaboration in Civil Aviation Sector between both countries will be in the areas of (i) Master-planning and design (ii) Commercial development (iii) Traffic development Training and development (iv) Service quality improvement (v) Maintenance, repair and overhaul (vi) Cargo handling and Management (vii) Operation and management.


Union Government launches GAGAN, aviation navigation system

Union Government has launched GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system, for aviation navigation. It was launched by Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in New Delhi.

Facts about GAGAN system

  • Jointly developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI).
  • It will provide augmentation service for GPS over the India, Bay of Bengal, South-east Asia and Middle East along with expansion up to Africa.
  • The system with the help of reference and uplink station will provide corrections to the GPS signal in order to improve air traffic management.
  • It is 10 times more precise compared to GPS and radio navigation aids used for precision landing.
  • Presently, GAGAN Payload is already operational through GSAT-8 and GSAT-10 satellites. The 3rd payload will be carried onboard GSAT-15 satellite to be launched October 2015.
  • Benefits: It will make airline operations more efficient by increasing fuel savings, direct routes, ease of search and rescue operations, reduced workload of flight crew and Air Traffic Controllers and cost savings due to withdrawal of ground aids.

With this launch, India became the fourth nation in the world to have inter-operable Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) after US, Europe and Japan. It should be noted that GAGAN is the first SBAS system in the world to serve the equatorial region.