Airlines will start operations in un-served and under-served airports in the country from January next under UDAN, the Centre's ambitious scheme to boost air connectivity on regional routes, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today.
Raju said in Lok Sabha that his Ministry has launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) called UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme on October 21 to provide connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country.
"The regional connectivity scheme will be a reality by January 2017," he said during Question Hour.
The Minister said there are 17 under-served airports and 407 un-served airstrips in the country. The primary objective of RCS is to facilitate/stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable.
Raju said promoting affordability of regional air connectivity is envisioned under RCS by supporting airline operators through concessions by the Centre, state governments and airports operators to reduce the cost of airline operations on regional routes.
Besides, he said, under RCS, financial support will be provided to meet the gap, if any, between the cost of airline operations and expected revenues on such routes.
RCS-UDAN is a demand-driven scheme, where airline operators undertake assessment of demand on particular routes, he said.