Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister of Civil Aviation launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) 5.2 in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh on July 25, 2023.
- In the same event the 5th Helicopter & Small Aircraft Summit (Heli Summit 2023) was jointly organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in association with the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Pawan Hans Ltd., and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
- The theme of the Event: “Reaching the Last Mile: Regional Connectivity through Helicopters & Aircraft”.
Key Highlights of UDAN 5.2
- UDAN 5.2 was launched to enhance connectivity in remote and regional areas of the nation and also achieve last-mile connectivity through small aircraft such as 1A (<9 seats) and Category 1 (< 20 seats).
- A scheme is introduced for helicopter services, under which Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is increased and the fare cap is reduced.
- 22 new routes were also allocated.
- Heli-Sewa mobile application launched, connecting Helicopter operators and district officials.
- Launched on May 24, 2023 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Features of the UDAN 5.1
- 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.
- The government on April 21, 2023, launched the fifth round of the regional air connectivity scheme to further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas.
Key Features of UDAN 5.0 are as follows:
- This round of UDAN focuses on Category-2 (20- 80 seats) and Category-3 (>80 seats).
- The earlier stage length cap of 600 km is waived off and there is no restriction on the distance between the origin and destination of the flight.
- Viability gap funding (VGF) to be provided will be capped at 600 km stage length for both Priority and Non-Priority areas which was earlier capped at 500 km.
UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik)
- The scheme was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for regional airport development and regional connectivity enhancement. It is a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy 2016.
- The scheme is applicable for a period of 10 years.
- The number of operational airports has gone up to 141 from 74 in 2014.
- 73 underserved/unserved destinations which include 62 Airports, 9 Heliports & 2 Water Aerodromes have been connected under the UDAN scheme.
- With 425 new routes initiated, UDAN has provided air connectivity to more than 29 States/ UTs across the country.