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RCS

Opening the third round of the Regional connectivity scheme (RCS), the Ministry of Civil Aviation has invited proposals for air routes that include tourist destinations. The deadline for submitting applications is November 20.

Under this scheme, the government has allowed seaplanes to operate commercial passenger flights. Included among the 10 destinations that the government proposes to connect through seaplanes are the recently unveiled Statue of Unity at Sardar Sarovar Dam, Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand and Nagarjuna Sagar in Telangana.

About UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme:

  • UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) is the Government’s initiative to make air travel to India’s tier II and tier III cities affordable to the aam aadmi. The idea is to put smaller cities and remote regions on the aviation map, by getting domestic airlines to ply more regional routes.
  • Under the scheme, the Government offers incentives to airlines to flag off new flights to neglected smaller cities and towns by providing Viability Gap Funding to make these operations profitable.
  • Airlines are required to bid for exclusive rights to fly on the regional routes opened up under the scheme. They must sell a specific number of seats on each flight at a fixed fare of ₹2,500 for one hour of flying. In the case of helicopter operations, allowed for the first time now, fares are capped at ₹2,500 for a 30-minute flight.

Objectives of the scheme:

The primary objective of RCS is to facilitate / stimulate regional air connectivity by making it cheap and affordable.

Promoting affordability of regional air connectivity is envisioned under RCS by supporting airline operators through: Concessions and Financial (viability gap funding or VGF) support.

Significance:

The scheme gives India’s aviation sector a boost by giving a chance to small and first-time operators to be a part of the rapid growth in passenger traffic.

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