Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament, has announced revival of 50 additional airports, heliports, water aerodromes, and advanced landing zones for improving regional air connectivity.
The announcement is part of a target to operationalise 1,000 UDAN routes during the currency of the scheme.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) — UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) on 21 October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and making air travel affordable to the masses.
As on 30 November 2022, after four rounds of bidding under UDAN, 453 routes have commenced, operationalising 70 airports including two water aerodromes and nine heliports.
More than 2.15 lakh UDAN flights have operated and over 1.1 crore passengers have availed the benefits in UDAN flights so far. The scheme has been able to provide air connectivity to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities at affordable airfares and has transformed the way people travel.
The UDAN Scheme is applicable for a period of 10 years from the date of notification of scheme.
The government has set a target to revive or develop 100 unserved and underserved airports, heliports and water aerodromes by 2024.
A budget of Rs 4,500 crore has already been earmarked for the revival of existing unserved/underserved airports/airstrips of the state governments, Airports Authority of India, public sector undertakings and civil enclaves.
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