Regional air connectivity infrastructure gets a massive boost! Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved various developmental projects, which aim to upgrade the regional air connectivity infrastructure in the country. The Cabinet gave its nod to the revival and development of un-served as well as under-served air strips of state governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI), civil enclaves, CPSUs, helipads and water domes. According to the Cabinet, the government will invest a whopping amount of Rs 4,500 crore for these projects, which will uplift India’s regional air connectivity infrastructure.
According to the Cabinet, with the establishment of all these big developmental projects, several benefits will be provided to the public. As an outcome of these projects, several small cities or towns across the country will be connected once flight services on under-served and un-served airports of India pick up or commence. The Cabinet stated that the step will further boost the economic development in these areas as well as the surrounding areas in terms of job creation along with related infrastructure development.
The Modi government in order to include the un-served and under-served airports on the country s aviation map, launched its ambitious UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme in the month of October 2016. The scheme was launched with airfares fixed at Rs 2,500 for one-hour journey through subsidized ticket rates. Interestingly, the ministry has also been focusing on expanding the UDAN scheme to boost the country’s tourism sector by connecting India’s popular tourist destinations by affordable flight services, for which it is working with the Tourism Ministry.
Earlier this year, it was reported that UDAN is likely to go international from March this year. A Civil Aviation Ministry official in January told FE that low-cost carrier SpiceJet emerged as the lowest bidder for the Guwahati-Bangkok and Guwahati-Dhaka routes.