“The scheme is likely to give a major boost to tourism activities and employment...
generation in hinterland and Tier-II and Tier-III cities,” said union minister of civil aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
“To ensure that operations on ground start with minimum time-gap after the bidding is completed, parallel action has also been initiated by the ministry of civil aviation with AAI, state governments, DGCA and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security,” the ministry said.
According to a recent report by apex industry body FICCI about 44 airports across the country have “high potential” for operations under the ambitious regional connectivity scheme (RCS) for civil aviation, ude desh ka aam naagrik (Udan).
“Based on the geographical, operational and commercial parameters, 44 out of the 414 underserved and unserved airports have high potential under RCS. We have also identified around 370 potential destinations for the shortlisted airports, including metros, state capitals and important commercial, industrial and tourism centres,” said the FICCI report, brought out in concert with global professional service company KPMG.
Uttar Pradesh has four high potential RCS destinations, three each in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, two each in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Bihar, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, J&K, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
“So far 22 states have joined the RCS and we have identified 30 airports where operations could be started immediately,” secretary union civil aviation Rajiv Nayan Choubey told new agency PTI.
RCS or UDAN, was introduced as part of the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016 and was formally launched in October last. It provides an opportunity to take flying to the masses by way of fiscal incentives, infrastructure support and monetary subsidies.
Noting that RCS was a good scheme, regional director of International Civil Aviation Organisation Arun Mishra, however, said India did not have the wherewithal right now for RCS to become successful. “They are trying to build the wherewithal but it will take some time,” he said. “We have to be careful about creating the enabling conditions for this scheme to become successful. One of the most important things is the right size of aircraft that you need.”
Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Miniratna PSU under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. AAI manages a total of 125 airports, which include 11 international airports, eight customs airports, 81 domestic airports and 25 civil enclaves at defence airfields. AAI also provides Air Traffic Management Services (ATMS) over entire Indian Air Space and adjoining oceanic areas with ground installations at all Airports and 25 other locations to ensure safety of Aircraft operations.