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UDAN air services to be expanded to 68 new airports in small cities

Photo for representation

The government plans to make 68 new airports operational under the UDAN scheme in the next four years to expand air travel to smaller cities, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said today.

So far under this scheme, we have 425 routes and we now aim to go up to 1000 routes by 2026 to provide air connectivity to unconnected destinations in the country, he explained.

“In the next 4 years we are expecting 40 crore travellers through civil aviation in India,” the minister added. 

UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) has successfully completed five years since the launch of its first flight by the Prime Minister on 27th April 2017 during which it has provided regional air services to 58 new airports, 8 Heliports and 2 Water Aerodromes. These cover Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in 29 States and UTs across the country, the minister explained. 

“More than one crore passengers have availed the benefits of this scheme as on 4th August 2022. The scheme has also provided a much-needed platform to regional airlines to scale up their operations,” he added.

The UDAN scheme has a self-financing mechanism with the development of a Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF). Under this Scheme, RCF was created, to finance the gap in funding requirements of the scheme through a levy on certain domestic flights. This ensures that funds generated from the aviation sector themselves stimulate the growth and development of the sector.