On the commencement of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (India@75)’ launched by Government of India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has proposed about 392 routes under UDAN 4.1 bidding process. The Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)- Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) envisaged to make air travel affordable and widespread in the country. The scheme intends to boost inclusive national economic growth, employment opportunities, and air transport infrastructure development across the nation. Till date, 325 routes and 56 airports including 5 heliports and 2 Water Aerodromes have been operationalised under the UDAN scheme.
The UDAN 4.1 round is focused on connecting smaller airports, along with special helicopter and seaplane routes. In addition to these, some new routes have been proposed under the Sagaramala Seaplane Services in consultation with the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
Smt. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA said, “Following the four successful rounds of bidding, the special UDAN 4.1 bidding round invites bids for priority routes which have not been covered under UDAN so far. This bidding round also includes routes specially requested by the State governments / UT administrations and earlier cancelled/terminated routes. We have observed great demand on many Tier-2 & Tier-3 UDAN routes attesting the necessity along with essentiality & criticality of these regional routes. We aim to equip our country with one of the strongest air connectivity networks”
Some of the operational flexibilities are extended to Airlines under the UDAN 4.1 to ensure suitable operation models to connect smaller cities/ airstrips. Additionally, operations under NSOP will be allowed for seaplane, fixed-wing aircraft, Helicopters for RCS Routes awarded under UDAN 4.1.
The Bid Document is uploaded on the Central Procurement portal of the National Informatics Centre inviting the bids from interested airlines. The bidding process is expected to be completed by 6 weeks.