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Government sets up inter-ministerial panel to monitor UDAN
The Union Government has set up an ‘Inter- Ministerial Monitoring-cum-Coordination Committee’ to monitor the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme. UDAN is regional air connectivity scheme (RCS) which seeks to make flying affordable by connecting unserved and under-served airports.
- The committee will be responsible for coordination among stakeholders, including state governments for “time-bound” implementation of the scheme.
- It will also monitor schemes of promotion of regional connectivity by way of a revival of unserved and under-served airports/airstrips and UDAN.
- It will be chaired by Civil Aviation Secretary and will have representations from the ministries of Finance, Defence, Home as well as Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, representatives from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security), officials of airlines and states concerned will be also its part.
- The Union Civil Aviation Ministry already has awarded 128 routes connecting 70 airports to 5 airlines, under the scheme UDAN Scheme.
- In the flights operated under RCS, around 50% of the seats will have a fare cap Rs 2,500 per seat/hour.
- Apart from various incentives, the operators of such flights will be extended viability gap funding (VGF) for which money is partly raised through a levy imposed on flights operating on major routes.
- The VGF will be in place for three years for the airlines concerned from the date of starting operations in a particular UDAN route. The operators will be provided also other benefits such as zero airport charges and three-year exclusivity on the routes.