Civil Aviation Sector Current Affairs - 2020

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Fourth Phase of UDAN scheme launched

The Union Government of India has launched the fourth round of UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to enhance the connectivity to regional areas of the country. This phase is to focus on Hilly states, North East Region, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Islands.

What is new in Phase 4?

The Viability Gap Funding has been revised. The funding that was provided for Category 2 and 3 aircrafts (> 20 seats) has now been enhanced to all flights in the states of HP, Uttarakhand, J&K, North Eastern states and the islands. Also, the phase will allow operation of helicopter and sea planes. The phase also plans to promote short-haul routes, meaning no monetary support will be given to operators with stages more than 600 kms.

Previous phases of UDAN

In phase 1, around 43 airports were constructed under the scheme. It includes water aerodromes and heliports as well. In phase 2, around 30 airports were constructed and in phase 3, 33 airports were constructed.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation aims to operationalize 1000 routes and more than 100 airports in the next 5 years.

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UDAN Scheme: 8 more air routes added

Civil Aviation Ministry  announced addition of 8 more air routes under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik), the regional air connectivity scheme. These air routes have become functional and started operations.

Key Highlights

Out of 8 routes added 2 are in northeast region.

New 8 Routes added are: Mysore-Goa, Goa-Mysore, Mysore-Hyderabad, Hyderabad-Mysore, Mysore-Kochi, Kochi-Mysore, Kolkata-Shillong, and Shillong-Kolkata. Flights connecting Kolkata and Shillong will be served by IndiGo while others will be operated by Alliance Air.

With the addition of 8 new routes the total UDAN routes that are now operational in country has increased to 194.

Up till now the Civil Aviation Ministry has awarded a total of 705 routes under the UDAN scheme

About UDAN

UDAN or Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik is a regional connectivity scheme (RCS). It was scheme on 21 October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable to masses.

Objective: It aims to make flying affordable besides connecting underserved and unserved airports across India.

Besides seeking boost to regional air connectivity it provides various incentives to airlines.

Need: India ranks as world’s 3rd-largest domestic aviation market. To tap this potential government has proposed to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in domestic air carriers from existing 49%.

Way Ahead: The aviation sector in India is fast expanding its capacity expansion with addition of over 500 aircraft in coming years thereby also providing a significant opportunity for leasing and financing.

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