Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) is a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) provided by the Government of India. The objective of this particular scheme is, letting the ordinary citizen of our country fly. Its goal is to make air travel popular and accessible to the common people, increase job rates and bring an economic upswing.
The UDAN scheme is one of the key components of PM Modi’s National Civil Aviation Policy, also known as NCAP, which was released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on June 15, 2016. The scheme is jointly funded by central as well as state government, and several states have come on board by signing the MOU with the union government with this scheme. This will connect an unspecified number of new regional routes by operationalising 1000 regional airports by the end of 2019 financial year, with a target of 1.3 million passenger seats, requiring annual INR 200 crore Viability Gap Funding. The frequency of flights should be 3-7 per week at the same airport.
There are two segments included in the scheme. The first segment consists of building several Airports and re-developing the existing Airports to increase the number by 50 to approximately 150 with daily scheduled flights. The initial funding for the development of 50 regional Airports was 45,000 million, which was approved in May 2017.
The second segment's initiative was to connect regional Airports with hundreds of served and underserved airports in smaller areas with each other and to the big city Airports. There was Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for the areas needed.
Participating airports: Presently, the project targets about 486 airports in India. At the beginning of the scheme, the number of operational airports was 39, well-served airports counts till 27 and 12 airports were underserved. The rest 406 Airports were unserved at the initiation of the project.
Some of the helicopter routes are also included in the scheme such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and the union territories of Andaman & Nicobar Island and Lakshadweep islands.
Operators: Many airline operators bid to work on all the 128 routes under this scheme, but so far a few of them got a chance to operate the programme. The airlines like Zoom Air Alliance Air, Turbo Megha, Air Deccan, Indigo, Spice Jet and Air Odisha are working under the project.
Fares: We can say that fares are one of the main features of this scheme. Under the project, the government is trying to drop down the charges to 2,500 rupees per hour per ticket to make the travel ticket accessible and affordable. So the distance of the flight will be the base to decide the fares.
Flying was considered as a privilege in earlier days. Now the middle class is striving to achieve a level of living standards. Situations have changed since PM Modi has introduced the UDAN scheme for improved connectivity and made it accessible to the common people. Placing the facilities in tier-2 and tier-3 cities create a bridge across different regions.
The RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) has played a significant role for unserved and underserved airports within a small period. The International Civil Aviation Day is celebrated on December 7th to make people aware of the value of civil aviation. This scheme has made a significant change in the lives of ordinary people within a short period.
The UDAN scheme will connect the remotest areas of various districts of the country. Whether it’s Bangalore to Chennai flight, to reach some remote part of Chennai, or some other destination, the target of this scheme is to connect all the unconnected areas of the country.
The Prime Minister made sure that Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) would allow any person who wears a 'hawai chappal' can afford to fly in 'hawai jahaj'. This project was emphasized by encouraging around 400 underserved and unused airlines.
The UDAN initiative would provide not only a connection to the regional areas but also promote growth, development and employment opportunities in small towns. It will strengthen market growth at a modest price. The vision of PM Modi will generate considerable traffic with more revenue and flying will be considered by the majority of citizens in India.
Read More : How the UDAN scheme is benefiting Hyderabad