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UDAN 5.1, Specifically Designed for Helicopter Routes Launched

UDAN 5.1 Scheme: It is a new version of UDAN Scheme for improving connectivity that aims to further improve connectivity to remote regions across the country by facilitating last-mile connectivity through helicopter services. UDAN 5.1 Scheme is also important for UPSC Prelims Exam and UPSC Mains Exam ( GS Paper 2- Various governance measures taken by the Union Government for development of various sectors).

UDAN 5.1 Scheme in News

After the successful implementation of four rounds of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) known as Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), and with the ongoing fifth round (UDAN 5.0), the Ministry of Civil Aviation has introduced UDAN 5.1.

UDAN 5.1 Features

The UDAN 5.1, new version,  aims to further improve connectivity to remote regions across the country by facilitating last-mile connectivity through helicopter services. It may be mentioned that till date 46 helicopter routes have been operationalized under previous rounds of the scheme benefitting a number of hilly and North East states and this round is targeting coverage of a much larger number of routes. The main features include:

  • An increase in the scope of operations for operators wherein the scheme will now allow routes where one of the origin or destination locations is in a priority area. Earlier both points had to be in priority areas.
  • Airfare caps have been reduced by as much as 25% to make flying in helicopters more affordable for passengers.
  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for the operators have been increased substantially for both single and twin-engine helicopters to enhance financial viability for operating the awarded routes.

UDAN 5.1 Scheme Significance

The latest round of UDAN scheme is a testament to two emerging phenomenon in Indian civil aviation – one, a deeper democratisation of air travel with a focus on last-mile connectivity. Second, a growing appetite for helicopters in aiding tourism. Greater helicopter penetration through such efforts will help boost tourism, hospitality, and thus, our local economies.

  • UDAN 5.1 heralds a new dawn not just for civil aviation, but also for India’s remote & unserved regions.
  • The current version of the scheme has been designed after consultations with all stakeholders including helicopter operators.
  • While the intended target is to provide last-mile connectivity, it is also projected to give the helicopter segment of the Indian civil aviation industry a much needed boost.

About UDAN

UDAN scheme full form: Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik is a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to ensure affordability, connectivity, growth and development.

  • It provides a win-win situation for all stakeholders – citizens would get the benefit of affordability, connectivity and more jobs.
  • The scheme was launched in 2016, and would be in operation for a period of 10 years.

The Global Tax Revolution

UDAN scheme benefits

Central Government would provide concessions in the form of reduced excise duty, service tax, and flexibility of code sharing at the RCS (UDAN) airports.

  • State governments will have to lower the GST on ATF to 1% or less, besides providing security and fire services free of cost and electricity, water and other utilities at substantially concessional rates.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund would be created to meet the viability gap funding requirements under the scheme. The RCF levy per departure will be applied to certain domestic flights.
  • The partner State Governments (other than North Eastern States and Union Territories where contribution will be 10 %) would contribute a 20% share to this fund.

International UDAN | International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS)

International UDAN | International Air Connectivity Scheme (IACS)

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