The Director-General of DGCA, the civil aviation regulatory authority, has confirmed that two airlines have received green flags to fly under UDAN scheme, reports The Hindustan Times. According to the report, an official has said that two commuter airlines Big Charter and Aviation Connectivity are in the final certification stage. Once they complete the clearance process, they would fly under the Central Government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). However, there is no confirmation on the same from the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
UDAN Scheme: 78 new routes identified under RCS/UDAN 4.0
Two weeks ago, Union Civil Aviation Minister had announced that 78 new routes are approved for operations under the fourth phase of UDAN scheme. AAI is currently in the process of awarding these new routes to airlines.
Post COVID-19 lockdown, airlines are resuming operations under the RCS scheme in a calibrated manner.
Even when UDAN scheme has reached Phase IV, there are a few UDAN routes that have not commenced its operations. According to the Ministry, this is primarily due to the lack of infrastructure at civil airports. Several airports are waiting for the procurement of land for the purpose or the road connectivity to the airports. There are also cases where the airlines have not obtained the Scheduled Commuter Operators Permit to commence operations.
Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik a.k.a. UDAN scheme intends to make air travel affordable for the public. Under the scheme, the government caps the airfare on a certain number of seats in the aircraft. The Ministry of Civil Aviation provides monetary assistance to the airlines for successfully operating on the routes. Dubbed as Viability Gap Funding (VGF), the airlines bid for the route in the form of VGF per seat. They have to conform to certain specifications for operating the routes under the scheme.