UDAN - Giving new meaning to air connectivity

What is UDAN scheme?

1. UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme was launched on 27 April 2017 by the Government of India.

2. It is a regional airport development and “Regional Connectivity Scheme”.

3. Its objective is to make air travel affordable to common man.

4. It has become an important means for making low-cost flying available to people in smaller Indian cities.

Why is UDAN scheme needed?

1. Air traffic in India has grown three folds in the last decade.

2. National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), launched in 2016 to provide an ecosystem for harmonized growth of various aviation subsectors (airlines, airports, cargo, etc). UDAN supports it by promoting regional growth.

3. The scheme by linking tourist places and international destinations promotes tourism.

4. It ensures that India’s aviation sector expands to tier-II and tier-III cities as well.

5. Development of the aviation sector has a multiplier effect on the economy and employment.

6. UDAN scheme revives and upgrades existing airstrips in smaller cities and thus, reduces the need to deploy huge resources and long gestation periods.

Who are benefited by UDAN?

1. Citizens because of Connectivity, affordability and jobs

2. National Government by jumpstarting the regional aviation market

3. Regions: More trade and commerce, tourism circuits and development of remote areas.

4. Airlines sector: Creation of new feeder routes, bringing new passengers, new opportunities to create scalable business models as regional airlines.

5. Original equipment manufacturers by promoting the growth of domestic manufactures and making India as an export hub.  

Where the challenges for UDAN scheme lie?

UDAN faces challenges in the implementation in the form of

1. Monitoring and assistance for revival of airports.

2. Facilitation for obtaining Airport operator permits for selected airlines and helicopter operators under the scheme.

3. Availability of qualified crew

4. Working with small airlines to take the regional scheme to remote areas.

How the scheme has performed?

1. It has cut down the cost of infrastructure and operations that will help the sustainability of air connectivity to smaller cities.

2. It has brought first-time air connectivity to people of 35 tier-II and tier-III cities.

3. Since the launching of UDAN scheme, 61 new sectors have been added till date enhancing the power of the aviation sector.