INDIA. Mumbai. The Union Civil Aviation Ministry introduced 78 new routes, which included nearly half of the routes for North East India, under the fourth round of talks of “UDAAN”, as part of regional connectivity within the country on Thursday.
The “UDAAN” scheme launched in 2017 seeks to increase regional connectivity to bring access to smaller cities and towns, hilly states, and Islands, focusing specially on North-Eastern Region, for which the government provides support through viability gap funding. For the fourth round of the scheme, the funding is expected to be in the region of Rs 257 crore per year, with the average funding per route at Rs 3.29 crore.
Among the airlines, “IndiGo”, “Air India unit Alliance Air Aviation (AAAL)” and newbie “Big Charter Private Limited” are among the prominent winners. The government-owned “Pawan Hans Limited”, the helicopter service company, has also won bids to start services in the remote regions. This will further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.
A release from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) stated that 29 served, eight unserved (including two heliports and one water aerodrome) and two underserved airports have been included in the list for approved routes. This is for the first time a water aerodrome and heliports are being connected undertone scheme.
Overall, 766 routes have been sanctioned so far under the UDAAN scheme. Of these, 274 routes have been operationalized, connecting 45 airports and three heliports. The airports that had already been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the Scheme.
Focus on North East region
Special boost is being given to connectivity in North East with routes from Guwahati to Tezu, Rupsi, Tezpur, Passighat, Misa, and Shillong. People will be able to fly from Hissar to Chandigarh, Dehradun, and Dharmshala under these UDAAN 4 routes. Routes from Varanasi to Chitrakoot and Shravasti have also been approved. Agatti, Kavaratti, and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep too have been connected by the new routes of UDAAN 4.0. From the rest of the country, destinations like Shimla, Diu, Bilaspur are the ones who will now come on the aviation map.
Northeast India region is the easternmost region of India comprising Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. Due to its topography, by and large, it has remained underdeveloped for years together.
The new approved routes are:Guwahati to Tezu, Tezu To Imphal, Imphal To Tezu, Tezu to Guwahati, Guwahati To Rupsi, Rupsi To Kolkata, Kolkata To Rupsi, Rupsi To Guwahati, Bilaspur To Bhopal, Bhopal To Bilaspur, Hissar To Dharamshala, Dharamshala To Hissar, Hissar To Chandigarh, Chandigarh To Hissar, Hissar To Dehradun, Dehradun To Hissar, Kanpur(Chakeri) To Moradabad, Moradabad To Kanpur(Chakeri), Kanpur(Chakeri) To Aligarh, Aligarh To Kanpur(Chakeri), Kanpur(Chakeri) To Chitrakoot, Chitrakoot To Prayagraj/Allahabad, Prayagraj/Allahabad To Chitrakoot, Chitrakoot To Varanasi, Varanasi To Chitrakoot, Chitrakoot To Kanpur(Chakeri), Kanpur(Chakeri) To Shravasti, Shravasti To Varanasi, Varanasi To Shravasti, Shravasti To Prayagraj/Allahabad, Prayagraj/Allahabad To Shravasti, Shravasti To Kanpur(Chakeri), Bareilly To Delhi, Delhi To Bareilly, Cochin International Airport(CIAL) To Agatti, Agatti To Cochin International Airport(CIAL), Aizawl To Tezpur, Tezpur to Aizawl, Agartala To Dibrugarh and Dibrugarh To Agartala.
The long list includes: Shillong To Passighat, Passighat To Guwahati, Guwahati To Passighat, Passighat To Shillong, Guwahati To Tezpur, Tezpur To Guwahati, Guwahati To Misa(Heliport), Misa(Heliport) To Geleki, Geleki To Jorhat, Jorhat to Geleki, Geleki To Misa(Heliport), Misa(Heliport) To Guwahati, Agatti To Minicoy, Minicoy To Agatti, Agatti To Kavaratti, Kavaratti To Agatti, Guwahati To Shillong, Shillong to Dimapur, Dimapur To Shillong, Imphal To Silchar, Silchar to Imphal, Shillong To Guwahati, Agartala To Shillong, Shillong To Imphal, Imphal To Shillong, Shillong To Agartala, Imphal To Shillong, Shillong To Silchar, Silchar To Shillong, Shillong To Imphal, Shillong To Dibrugarh, Dibrugarh To Shillong, Delhi To Shimla, Shimla To Delhi, Diu To Surat, Surat To Diu, Diu To Vadodara, Vadodara To Diu.
List of unserved airports: Tezu, Arunachal Pradesh, Rupsi, Assam, Bilaspur, Chattisgarh, Hisar, Haryana, Misa (Heliport), Assam, Geleki (Heliport), Assam, Minicoy, Lakshadweep, Kavaratti (Water aerodrome), Lakshadweep. List of Underserved airports: Agatti, Lakshadweep, Passighat, Arunachal Pradesh.