UDAN Scheme Current Affairs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated new airport in Jharsuguda – also known as the powerhouse of Odisha. PM also flagged off the UDAN flight on Jharsuguda-Raipur sector. It is first airport in Odisha to provide necessary connectivity to Bhubaneswar, Raipur and Ranchi under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN (UdeDesh Ka AamNaagrik) Scheme. Other than Jharsuguda, three more airports are being developed in Odisha namely, Jeypore (Koraput District), Rourkela (Sundargarh District) and Utkela (Kalahandi District) to provide connectivity to remote and far flung areas of coastal state under Regional Connectivity Scheme.
Jharsuguda is the second airport of Odisha after Bhubaneswar to become operational. It has been developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) in collaboration with Odisha Government. The airport is spread across over 1027.5 acres of land. Area of its terminal Building is around 4000 sqm.
The airport has 2390 metre-long runway and has been developed for all weather operations including night operations for A-320 type of aircraft. It is equipped with state-of-the-art passenger facilities. Interiors of its building depict local handicrafts, artwork and tourist destinations of state highlighting rich ethos and culture of region. The airport will play significant role in development of Western Odisha and will give impetus to the growing tourism industry in the region.
UDAN is flagship scheme of Central Government introduced to enable air operations on unserved routes, connecting regional areas, to promote balanced regional growth and to make flying affordable for masses.
The first commercial flight (42-seater ATR aircraft of the Alliance Airlines) of Arunachal Pradesh under UDAN scheme landed at Pasighat airport or Advance Landing Ground (ALG) in East Siang district. This historic moment puts border state on the aviation map of the country.
Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will operate flight services on Kolkata-Guwahati-Pasighat route thrice a week – on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Pasighat airport is on advance landing ground or ALG, meant to support operations of small aircraft and some military planes. This commercial flight connectivity opens up new vistas of economic development in the region and also provide ample opportunities for tourism industry of the state as it removes connectivity bottleneck faced by bordering state earlier.
Arunachal Pradesh has some 120 helipads and 10 advanced landing grounds, built for defence as well as civil operations. Under UDAN scheme, eight locations in border state have been selected by bidders. Out of which Pasighat and Tezu have been selected for fixed wing. Ziro, Daporijo, Itanagar, Tuting, Wallong and Yingkiong have been selected for helicopter services.
UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam naagrik) Scheme
UDAN RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) was launched in October 2016 to develop the regional aviation market. It is vital component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), 2016. It aims to make flying affordable by providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of country through revival of existing airstrips and airports so that persons in regional towns are able to take affordable flights.
It is applicable on flights covering distance between 200 km and 800 km with no lower limit set for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions. It seeks to reserve a minimum number of UDAN seats i.e. seats at subsidized rates and also cap fare for short distance flights. It has unique market-based model to develop regional connectivity. It has Viability Gap Funding (VDF) mechanism to meet the VGF requirements under the scheme. Airports Authority of India (AAI) is implementing agency of the scheme.