In efforts to bolster regional air connectivity, Union Minister Jayant Sinha along with Civil Aviation Ministry officials today held deliberations with representatives of lessors, original equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders. The meeting also comes at a time when the government is in the process of deciding the final contours of the ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). "Met with lessors, OEM and aviation industry to kick- start the regional connectivity leasing market. Very productive discussion," Sinha, who is the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said in a tweet. Last week, he had said that efforts would be made to ensure that flights under RCS start from January 1. Under RCS, airlines can avail viability gap funding (VGF) while the states concerned have to offer certain concessions such as fire services free of cost. VGF would be created by way of charging a small levy per departure on all domestic flights on certain routes and small aircraft below 80 seats.
Central and state governments would be sharing the VGF amount. The fares for one-hour flights under the RCS would be capped at Rs 2,500 under the scheme. The Ministry has signed memorandum of understanding with Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Puducherry among others for implementation of RCS. RCS refers to operation of an air transport service between any two airports, of which at least one has been declared by the central government as un-served or under-served. There are 394 un-served and 16 under-served airports. Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today held a meeting with German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)