UDAN 5.1 Scheme Launched by Ministry of Civil Aviation
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched UDAN 5.1 after four successful rounds of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) and with version 5.0 of the fifth round underway, to further enhance the connectivity to remote areas of the country and achieve last mile connectivity through helicopters. The current version of the scheme “UDAN 5.1” has been designed after consultations with all stakeholders including helicopter operators. While the intended target is to provide last-mile connectivity, it is also projected to give the helicopter segment of the Indian civil aviation industry a much-needed boost.
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About UDAN 5.1
To date, 46 helicopter routes have been operationalized under previous rounds of the scheme benefitting a number of hilly and North East states and this round is targeting coverage of a much larger number of routes. Under the UDAN scheme passengers have received the benefit of air connectivity, airlines have received concessions for operating regional routes, and unserved regions have received the direct and indirect benefits of air connectivity for their economic development. The present version of the scheme will be another step towards the vision of Prime Minister allowing the common man to travel by air at affordable fares to remote destinations of the country.
Feature of UDAN 5.1 Scheme
The main features include:
- An increase in the scope of operations for operators wherein the scheme will now allow routes where one of the origin or destination locations is in a priority area. Earlier both points had to be in priority areas.
- Airfare caps have been reduced by as much as 25% to make flying in helicopters more affordable for passengers.
- Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for the operators have been increased substantially for both single and twin-engine helicopters to enhance financial viability for operating the awarded routes.
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