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Centre to start routes for planes with a capacity of less than 20

UDAN 5.2 will use aircraft categories like 1A and 1, which have a seating capacity of nine passengers and 20 passengers, respectively

udan scheme

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Centre is soon expected to announce the next phase of the "Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik" scheme, UDAN 5.2, extending to the routes which will be connected by aircraft with a seating capacity of less than 20 passengers, Financial Express (FE) reported on Tuesday. 

This is being done to improve last-mile connectivity in remote regions of the country.

According to the report, UDAN 5.2 will use aircraft categories like 1A and 1. Category 1A planes have a seating capacity of nine passengers, while Category 1 planes have a capacity of fewer than 20 passengers.

A person aware of the development was quoted in the report as saying, "The scheme will promote connectivity to many airstrips and airports which have shorter runways like Pantnagar, Aligarh as well as Advance Landing Ground (ALG)."

These smaller planes are used in several regions, including Africa and Australia, for connecting far-flung areas. The top companies that manufacture these smaller planes are Embraer and Cessna. In India, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. makes a 19-seater version of its Dornier-228.

The UDAN scheme has now expanded to 148 airports across India. According to the data released by the Centre on Monday, over 12.3 million domestic passengers have so far travelled on UDAN flights.

What is the UDAN scheme?

UDAN was launched in 2017 with an aim to operationalise 100 unserved and underserved airports and start at least 1,000 air routes. It was a part of the Narendra Modi government's National Civil Aviation Policy.

Under the scheme, nearly half of the seats in UDAN flights are offered at subsidised fares. The participating carriers are provided with a certain amount of viability gap funding (VGF) shared between the Centre and the concerned states.

The Centre and state governments jointly fund the scheme. The scheme was started to run for ten years with a provision that it could be extended thereafter.

UDAN 5.0

The Ministry of Civil Aviation launched UDAN 5.0 in April this year. It focuses on Category 2 (20-80 seats) and Category 3 (more than 80 seats). With the above news, the Centre is now looking to expand UDAN 5.0 to less than 20 seats with UDAN 5.2.

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First Published: Jul 25 2023 | 10:13 AM IST

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