UDAN is a regional connectivity program by the Indian government. The full form of UDAN is Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik. Smaller regional airports are being planned to make aviation services more accessible to the general public. It’s one of the new policies that’s been in place since June 2016. Under the fourth phase of the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme, the Civil Aviation Ministry has approved 78 new routes. Under the UDAN system, 766 routes have been approved thus far.
The UDAN Scheme was unveiled on June 15, 2016, by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It is jointly funded by State and Central governments. With a target of 13 lakh annual passenger seats and a budget of $200 million, UDAN RCS wants to connect an unannounced number of new regional routes by operationalizing 100 regional airports by the end of 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Main Objectives of UDAN Scheme:
- 425 underdeveloped or unserved airports in the country would be operationalized and developed, boosting inclusive economic development by offering speedier connectivity.
- The expansion of air transportation infrastructure in rural places aids employment creation.
Features of UDAN Scheme:
- The plan calls for the revitalization of existing airstrips and airports to provide connectivity to the country’s underserved and unserved airports. The project will last for ten years.
- Airports with less than one flight per day are classified as underserved, while airports with no activities are classified as unserved.
- The federal government, state governments, and airport operators provide financial incentives to selected airlines in order to stimulate operations from underserved and unserved airports while keeping airfares cheap.
Achievements of UDAN Scheme:
- To date, 387 routes and 60 airports have been operationalized, with 100 routes awarded in the North East alone.
- To strengthen the North East region’s export possibilities, 16 airports have been designated, resulting in the combined benefits of increased cargo movements and exports.
- In this round, 5 airline firms were given 128 flight routes to 70 airports.
- The Ministry of Civil Aviation determined that 73 airports were underserved or unserved in 2018.
- During phase 2 of the UDAN system, helipads were also connected for the first time.
- In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, tourism routes were added to UDAN 3.
- As a means of connecting water aerodromes, seaplanes are featured.
- Brought North-East routes under the UDAN umbrella.
- In 2020, 78 new routes were approved to improve connectivity to the country’s remote and regional regions.
- The new UDAN 4.0 lines will connect the islands of Kavaratti, Agatti, and Minicoy in Lakshadweep.
- The UDAN 4.1 is intended to link minor airports with specialized helicopter and seaplane routes.
- Under the Sagarmala Seaplane services, some new routes have been suggested.
- The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is working on an ambitious project named Sagarmala Seaplane Services with potential airline operators.
KRISHI UDAN Schemes:
Krishi Udan Scheme is a convergence scheme where eight Ministries/Departments namely the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Development of North-eastern Region (DoNER) would leverage their existing schemes to strengthen the logistics for transportation of Agri-produce. In August 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation launched it on international and domestic routes to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products and increasing its value realisation.
Krishi Udan Scheme 2.0 was announced on 27 October 2021 enhancing the existing provisions, mainly focusing on transporting perishable food products from the hilly areas, North-Eastern States and tribal areas.
Challenges Faced in the Implementation:
- Some states are wary of giving up tax breaks on air turbine fuel and other financial incentives that might entice competitor airlines to fly in their underdeveloped areas.
- Because airports take up such large regions, land acquisition is difficult. Two issues are land scarcity and a large amount of capital.
- The models’ financial viability in linking faraway regions causes policy ambiguity.
- The airline sector is notorious for its fierce competition and high capital requirements. Because of the low profitability, they are hesitant to expand operations in areas with minimal passenger flow.
Related Frequently Asked Questions and Solutions:
Question 1: What is International UDAN Scheme?
The international UDAN program is an offshoot of the domestic UDAN initiative. The idea is to link some of India’s smaller cities directly to regionally important overseas locations.
Question 2: What is Krishi Udan Scheme?
The Ministry of Civil Aviation introduced it in August 2020 on international and national routes to help farmers transport agricultural products and increase their value realisation.
Question 3: Write some of the Major Objectives of the Udan Scheme.
- Increase the number of underserved or unserved airports in the United States by operationalizing and developing 425 underserved or unserved airports across the country.
- The generation of jobs is aided by the development of air transportation infrastructure in remote locations.
Question 4: Write some of the Achievements of the UDAN Scheme?
- 387 routes and 60 airports have been operationalized, with 100 routes given just in the North East.
- Under the KRISHI UDAN Scheme, 16 airports have been designated to improve the North East region’s export possibilities by establishing dual benefits of increased cargo movements and exports.