78 new routes under the 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) have been approved.
- The 4th round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on North-Eastern Regions, Hilly States, and Islands.
Regional Connectivity Scheme –Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN)
- UDAN was launched as a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016.
- The objective of the scheme is to create affordable and economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.
- The scheme envisages providing connectivity to un-served and underserved airports of the country through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.
- Under-served airports are those which do not have more than one flight a day, while unserved airports are those where there are no operations.
- The scheme is operational for a period of 10 years.
- The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the Implementing Agency under this Scheme.
- UDAN 4.0 is the latest version of the scheme.
Salient features of the scheme:
- The regional connectivity scheme will be applicable on route length between 200 to 800 km with no lower limit set for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions.
- The Central government will provide concessions to the tune of 2 per cent excise on Value Added Tax (VAT) and service tax at 1/10th the rate and liberal code sharing for regional connectivity scheme airports.
- A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) will be created to fund the scheme via a levy on certain flights. States are expected to contribute 20 per cent to the fund.
- For balanced regional growth, allocations will be spread equitably across 5 regions – North, West, South, East and North East with a cap of 25 per cent.
- Market-based reverse bidding mechanism to determine least viability gap funding (VGF) to select the airline operator with the right to match the initial proposer