New Delhi: The Cabinet Thursday approved a proposal to revive and develop un-served and under-served air strips of State Governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Civil enclaves, CPSUs, helipads and water aerodromes at a cost of Rs 4,500 crore.
“As an outcome, small cities/towns shall be connected on commencement of operation of flights to under-served/un-served airports and it will further boost the economic development in these as well as surrounding areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure development," an official release said.
The Revival of airstrips/airports will be 'demand driven', depending upon firm commitment from airline operators as well as from the State Governments for providing various concessions as Airports will be develop without insisting on its financial viability.
The regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports as well as make flying affordable.
The government said it has received overwhelming response from the airlines in two rounds of RCS Bidding held so far. In the first round of UDAN bidding, 128 routes were assigned to five airline operators for 43 un-served/underserved airports/airstrips on 31.03.2017. The response from airline operators have considerably improved in second round of RCS bidding wherein 86 proposals involving 325 routes were awarded to 15 selected airline operators in January, 2018.
During RCS-UDAN version 1.0 & 2.0, 66 airports were identified and 31 heliports (28 unserved heliports and 3 unserved airports). During UDAN version 3.0, to increase the tourism potential at the coastal areas, Tourism routes in coordination with Ministry of Tourism and Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes were included.