UDAN Scheme Current Affairs

Government eases norms under UDAN Scheme

The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has eased several norms of Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), a flagship regional flying scheme to attract more airlines and helicopter operators to participate in regional connectivity scheme (RCS).

The new norms were announced when the process for second round of bidding for the RCS were announced.  .  The winners of the second round of bidding will be announced by November 2017.

Key Facts

The relaxations of the norms include dilution of the exclusivity clause mandating that only one airline may fly on one route in the initial years. It will allow selected airline operator of a particular route may issue no-objection certificate (NOC) to other airlines who want to operate on the selected RCS route.

The norms restricting two airports in close proximity from participating in the bidding also has been relaxed. It will allow routes with a stage length less than 150 km for operations through fixed wing aircraft.

About Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) Scheme

The UDAN Scheme aims at providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing airstrips and airports. It aims to develop the regional aviation market and make flying affordable. It is applicable on flights which cover between 200 km and 800 km. The distance limit is lower limit for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions. It reserves minimum number of UDAN seats i.e. seats at subsidized rates and also cap the fare for short distance flights. It has a unique market-based model to develop regional connectivity.

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Government sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor UDAN

The Union Government has set up an ‘Inter- Ministerial Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee’ to monitor the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme.

UDAN is regional air connectivity scheme (RCS) which seeks to make flying affordable by connecting unserved and under-served airports.

Key Facts
  • The committee will be responsible for coordination among stakeholders, including state governments for “time-bound” implementation of the scheme.
  • It will also monitor schemes of promotion of regional connectivity by way of revival of unserved and under-served airports/airstrips and UDAN.
  • It will be chaired by Civil Aviation Secretary and will have representations from the ministries of Finance, Defence, Home as well as Petroleum and Natural Gas.
  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security), officials of airlines and states concerned will be also its part.
Background

The Union Civil Aviation Ministry already has awarded 128 routes connecting 70 airports to 5 airlines, under the scheme UDAN Scheme. In the flights operated under RCS, around 50% of the seats will have a fare cap Rs 2,500 per seat/hour. Apart from various incentives, the operators of such flights will be extended viability gap funding (VGF) for which money is partly raised through a levy imposed on flights operating in major routes. The VGF will be in place for three years for the airlines concerned from the date of starting operations in a particular UDAN route. Operators will be provided also other benefits such as zero airport charges and three-year exclusivity on the routes.

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