Big Boost To Regional Air Connectivity: 78 New Routes Approved Under UDAN 4.0Representative Image (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The government has approved 78 new routes under the fourth round of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) - UDAN after three successful rounds of bidding.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation in an official statement on Thursday ( 27 August) said that addition of the 78 new routes will further enhance the air connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country.

The fourth round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on North-Eastern regions, hilly states, and islands.

The airports that had already been developed by AAI are given higher priority for the award of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) under the scheme.

The North Eastern Region, Hilly States and Islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new routes, it said.

"Special boost is being given to connectivity in North East with routes from Guwahati to Tezu, Rupsi, Tezpur, Passighat, Misa and Shillong," the statement said.

"People will be able to fly from Hissar to Chandigarh, Dehradun and Dharmshala under these UDAN-4 routes," it added.

Furhter, routes from Varanasi to Chitrakoot and Shravasti have also been approved under the scheme.

Agatti, Kavaratti and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep have also been connected by the new routes of UDAN 4.0, it said.

"So far, 766 routes have been sanctioned under the UDAN scheme. 29 served, 08 unserved (including 2 heliports and 1 water aerodrome), and 2 underserved airports have been included in the list for approved routes," the statement said.

Under UDAN 4, the operation of helicopter and seaplanes is also been incorporated. Since its inception, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalized 274 UDAN routes that have connected 45 airports and 3 heliports.

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