Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday revealed that the government has received 141 initial proposals from 17 bidders under the second round of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN.
"108 proposals are related to fixed wing aircraft while the rest are for chopper services. These proposals cover 502 routes, including 161 falling in the priority areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand and north-eastern states. Priority areas are really getting a priority," Raju said.
He added that between 1 and 2 rounds of UDAN, they are connecting roughly 80 destinations in the country.
"In 70 years of independence, we had 70 active airports. With UDAN, we will make 80 more airports active within a year. Whatever we have achieved since independence is literally being doubled. That's the power of an idea," the minister said.
Before the second round of bidding, the Ministry had unveiled new norms to attract more airlines to operate services in Jammu and Kashmir, north-eastern states, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The aim was to increase the services to these states whose aviation potential has not yet been fully utilised.