Air Connectivity: Bidding Begins for the Second Round of UDAN

The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati briefing the media on the second round of bidding under RCS-Udan, in New Delhi on August 24, 2017. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri Jayant Sinha and the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri R.N. Choubey are also seen.
The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati briefing the media on the second round of bidding under RCS-Udan, in New Delhi on August 24, 2017. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri Jayant Sinha and the Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri R.N. Choubey are also seen.

The Minister of Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi Raju has announced the process for bidding for the second round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN.

Briefing media persons in New Delhi on Thursday, Raju said that the thrust in the second round will be on improving connectivity to priority areas like the North East, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshdweep by introducing more operational flexibility and promoting helicopter operations.

The Minister informed that the changes in the second round of UDAN had been brought in after extensive consultations with stakeholders over the last four months.

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The Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on 15th June 2016.

UDAN was launched in October, 2016 with the prime objective to facilitate / stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable for the masses. After the 1st Round of bidding, the Ministry launched the 2nd Round.

Among the important changes that are being effected, routes with stage length less than 150 Kms will now be permitted for operations as RCS Routes through fixed wing aircraft.

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This is aimed at providing enhanced connectivity and ease for the formation of networks under the Scheme.

While exclusivity of operations will continue to be applicable for a period of 3 years, Selected Airline Operators (SAO) can issue No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to other airline operators willing to operate on the respective RCS Route.

This will ensure there is no supply constraint on RCS Routes. To provide more flexibility to Selected Airline Operators (SAO), the maximum number of flights with VGF have been increased to 14 for Priority Areas.

Further, the SAOs can anytime increase the number of flights on RCS Routes to any number. Also, minimum performance specifications will no longer be applicable on Non-RCS Routes.

Photo courtesy: Press Information Bureau

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Rakesh Raman