UDAN SCHEME (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Infrastructure)

News-CRUX-10     22nd August 2023        

Context: The civil aviation ministry will soon start a detailed evaluation of routes awarded under the government’s regional connectivity initiative, known as the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme, which offers flight subsidies to underserved or unserved destinations.

  • Government data shows that 260 flights and routes are operational under the UDAN scheme as of date.
  • Of the 1,154 routes awarded under the scheme, spanning Phase 1 to Phase 4 until 16 May, airlines have initiated flights on only 475 routes.

Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik  (UDAN)

  • About: UDAN is a regional connectivity scheme spearheaded by the Government of India (GoI). 
  • It aims to develop smaller regional airports to allow common citizens easier access to aviation services.
  • This scheme is a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) and is funded jointly by the GoI and the state governments. 
  • Salient features:
    • The scheme duration is for 10 years.
    • Airlines participating in UDAN are selected through a competitive bidding process.
  • UDAN 1.0: Under this phase, 5 airlines companies were awarded 128 flight routes to 70 airports (including 36 newly made operational airports)
  • UDAN 2.0: In 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced 73 underserved and unserved airports.
    • For the first time, helipads were also connected under phase 2 of UDAN scheme.
  • UDAN 3.0: Inclusion of Tourism Routes under UDAN 3 in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.
    • Inclusion of Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes.
    • Bringing in a number of routes in the North-East Region under the ambit of UDAN.
  • UDAN 4.0: The 4th round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on North-Eastern Regions, Hilly States, and Islands.
    • The airports that had already been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) under the Scheme.
    • Under UDAN 4, the operation of helicopters and seaplanes is also been incorporated.
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