New Delhi, October 22: Enhancing the regional air connectivity under regional air connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to develop at least 100 airports, waterdromes, and heliports across the country by 2024 a Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) statement said on Wednesday.
"50 unserved and underserved airports (including five heliports) with 285 routes have been added under UDAN across the length and breadth of India. As the implementing agency, AAI has an ambitious plan to develop at least 100 airports/ waterdromes/ heliports by 2024 under the scheme," the statement said.
During a video conference to commemorate the UDAN day, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, MoCA said that the UDAN scheme has established the importance of traveling by air for the common man specially to far-flung areas. Shri Kharola congratulated the stakeholders and UDAN team for making the scheme successful with untiring efforts. He urged the airlines to undertake marketing initiatives so that more and more people can take benefit from the UDAN scheme. Senior officials from AAI, DGCA, MoCA, and airlines also joined the video conference.
Kharola said that one of the most important features of the scheme is that different agencies collaborated and synchronised their efforts towards the success of the scheme. He added that UDAN has created a virtuous circle wherein the UDAN routes feed the national network and the national routes further create new opportunities for the people across the country who then generate demand for more regional routes.
Udan is the Government of India's flagship program which aims to provide affordable, economically viable, and profitable air travel on regional routes. This Regional Connectivity Scheme offers a unique opportunity to a common man to fly at an affordable price. UDAN has played a major role in adding new airports and routes to the aviation landscape of the country.
Furthermore, AAI Chairman Arvind Singh said the authority was committed to building the infrastructure required for the scheme across the country. Joint Secretary at the ministry, Usha Padhee, said the government has acknowledged the contribution of the UDAN initiative and identified October 21 — the day on which the UDAN document was first released — as UDAN Day.