Work Towards Making UDAN Scheme Sustainable: Secretary Kharola

Government Trujet ATR-72 aircraft at Ahmedabad airport. - Aviatorsbuzz
Representational picture of a Trujet ATR-72 aircraft at Ahmedabad airport. Source: ahmedabadairspace/ Instagram

Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) secretary, Pradeep Singh Kharola has said that stakeholders should work towards making the Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagrik or UDAN scheme sustainable on its own and improve its efficiency.

Speaking during a video conference to commemorate the UDAN Day on Wednesday, Mr. Kharola said that RCS-UDAN scheme has established the importance of travelling by air for common man specially to far flung areas.

Mr. Kharola congratulated the stakeholders and UDAN team for making the scheme successful with untiring efforts.  He urged the airlines to undertake marketing initiatives so that more and more people can take benefit of the UDAN scheme.

Senior officials from Airports Authority of India (AAI), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), MoCA and airlines also joined the video conference. Mr. Kharola said that one of the most important features of the scheme is that different agencies collaborated and synchronised their efforts towards the success of the scheme.

“UDAN has created a virtuous circle wherein the regional routes feed the national network and the national routes further create new opportunities for the people across the country who then generate demand for more regional routes,” the MoCA secretary added.

Arvind Singh, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that it was committed to building the infrastructure required for the UDAN scheme across the country.

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA thanked the stakeholders for their combined efforts and continuous support in making the UDAN scheme a success. She added that Government of India had acknowledged the contribution of UDAN initiative and identified October 21, 2020 (the day on which the UDAN Scheme document was first released) as UDAN Day.

RCS-UDAN, is a Government of India’s flagship programme which aims to provide affordable, economically viable and profitable air travel on regional routes. This Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) offers a unique opportunity to a common man to fly at an affordable price.

UDAN has played a major role in adding new airports and routes to the aviation landscape of the country. 50 unserved and underserved airports (including 5 heliports) with 285 routes have been added under UDAN across the length and breadth of India.

As the implementing agency, AAI has an ambitious plan to develop at least 100 airports/waterdromes/heliports by 2024 under the Scheme. Under RCS-UDAN, three lakh passengers flew during financial year 2017-18 and 31 passengers benefitted during financial year 2019-20.

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Deputy Editor, AviatorsBuzz Aditya Anand in his nearly two decades of Journalism experience has tracked Aviation, Travel, and Hospitality closely and reported on it for major publications like The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, and MIDDAY.