Why UDAN 4.0 is a massive boost for Atmanirbhar Bharat

Under UDAN 4.0, a total of 18 unserved/underserved airports will now be connected to metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, etc

Why UDAN 4.0 is a massive boost for Atmanirbhar Bharat
The Northeast region, hilly states and islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new routes under Udan 4.0. Representative image

Expanding connectivity in the remote and treacherous terrains of the hilly regions of India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has added 78 new routes under the fourth round of the regional connectivity scheme — Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN). 

According to the ministry officials, the Northeast region, hilly states and islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new routes. The list of approved routes includes 29 served, eight unserved (including two heliports and one water aerodrome), and two underserved airports. An underserved airport does not have more than seven scheduled commercial flight departures per week while an unserved airport has had no scheduled commercial flights during the past two flight schedules approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). 

“UDAN 4.0 is ready to go. Seventy-eight additional routes have now been approved, taking the total number of sanctioned routes to 766,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri wrote on Twitter. A total of 18 unserved/underserved airports will now be connected to metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, etc. 

RCS UDAN flies higher!#UDAN 4.0 is ready to go.
78 additional routes have now been approved, taking the total number of sanctioned routes to 766.

18 unserved/underserved airports would be connected to metro cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, etc. pic.twitter.com/Vda7qgEfN6

— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 25, 2020

Puri pointed out, "The economic and tourism opportunities that these flights will offer to the regions will contribute towards the making of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

The economic & tourism opportunities that these flights will offer to the regions will contribute towards the making of an #AtmaNirbharBharat.

India’s civil aviation sector has been at the forefront of efforts against COVID-19 & has contributed positively to the economy.

— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 25, 2020

According to the new plan, unserved airports at Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Rupsi (Assam), Bilaspur (Chattisgarh), Hisar (Haryana) and Minicoy (Lakshadweep) will get air connectivity. Misa and Geleki in Assam will be connected by helicopters while Kavaratti in Lakshadweep will be connected by water aerodrome.

Overall, 766 routes have been sanctioned so far under the UDAN scheme. Commenting on this development, Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “MoCA had launched the fourth round of UDAN in December 2019 with a special focus on the Northeastern region, hilly states and islands. The awarding of these 78 routes under UDAN 4.0 is in line with the Act East Policy of the Central government.”

"The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has awarded the Bilaspur-Bhopal route to Alliance Air RCS-UDAN. Operations are likely to commence shortly. This connection will considerably boost economic activity in Bilaspur which is an important commercial hub of Chhattisgarh," announced Puri. 

MoCA has awarded the Bilaspur-Bhopal route to @allianceair under #RCS-UDAN. Operations are likely to commence shortly. This connection will considerably boost economic activity in Bilaspur which is an important commercial hub of Chhattisgarh.@bhupeshbaghel @ChouhanShivraj pic.twitter.com/Gq0m7pep5t

— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 25, 2020

“The airports that have already been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the scheme. Under UDAN 4.0, the operation of helicopter and seaplanes has also been incorporated,” Padhee said.

Under the Udan scheme, financial incentives from the Centre, state governments and airport operators are extended to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports and keep airfares affordable.

To improve regional connectivity, the Narendra Modi government had launched the UDAN scheme in 2016.

The approved regional connectivity scheme includes

S.No         RCS routes

1          Guwahati To Tezu

2          Tezu To Imphal

3          Imphal To Tezu

4          Tezu To Guwahati

5          Guwahati To Rupsi

6          Rupsi To Kolkata

7          Kolkata To Rupsi

8          Rupsi To Guwahati

9          Bilaspur To Bhopal

10        Bhopal To Bilaspur

11        Hissar To Dharamshala

12        Dharamshala To Hissar

13        Hissar To Chandigarh

14        Chandigarh To Hissar

15        Hissar To Dehradun

16        Dehradun To Hissar

17        Kanpur(Chakeri) To Moradabad

18        Moradabad To Kanpur(Chakeri)

19        Kanpur(Chakeri) To Aligarh

20        Aligarh To Kanpur(Chakeri)

21        Kanpur(Chakeri) To Chitrakoot

22        Chitrakoot To Prayagraj/Allahabad

23        Prayagraj/Allahabad To Chitrakoot

24        Chitrakoot To Varanasi

25        Varanasi To Chitrakoot

26        Chitrakoot To Kanpur(Chakeri)

27        Kanpur(Chakeri) To Shravasti

28        Shravasti To Varanasi

29        Varanasi To Shravasti

30        Shravasti To Prayagraj/Allahabad

31        Prayagraj/Allahabad To Shravasti

32        Shravasti To Kanpur(Chakeri)

33        Bareilly To Delhi

34        Delhi To Bareilly

35        Cochin International Airport(CIAL) To Agatti

36        Agatti To Cochin International Airport(CIAL)

37        Aizawl To Tezpur

38        Tezpur To Aizawl

39        Agartala To Dibrugarh

40        Dibrugarh To Agartala

41        Shillong To Passighat

42        Passighat To Guwahati

43        Guwahati To Passighat

44        Passighat To Shillong

45        Guwahati To Tezpur

46        Tezpur To Guwahati

47        Guwahati To Misa(Heliport)

48        Misa(Heliport) To Geleki

49        Geleki To Jorhat

50        Jorhat To Geleki

51        Geleki To Misa(Heliport)

52        Misa(Heliport) To Guwahati

53        Agatti To Minicoy

54        Minicoy To Agatti

55        Agatti To Kavaratti

56        Kavaratti To Agatti

57        Guwahati To Shillong

58        Shillong To Dimapur

59        Dimapur To Shillong

60        Imphal To Silchar

61        Silchar To Imphal

62        Shillong To Guwahati

63        Agartala To Shillong

64        Shillong To Imphal

65        Imphal To Shillong

66        Shillong To Agartala

67        Imphal To Shillong

68        Shillong To Silchar

69        Silchar To Shillong

70        Shillong To Imphal

71        Shillong To Dibrugarh

72        Dibrugarh To Shillong

73        Delhi To Shimla

74        Shimla To Delhi

75        Diu To Surat

76        Surat To Diu

77        Diu To Vadodara

78        Vadodara To Diu