43 unserved airports of the nation are expected to have flight operations from next month in a phased manner. Five of these unserved airports are from Odisha.
About 43 initial proposals have been received by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) from 11 bidders for 190 routes under the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN. Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda, Jeypore, Rourkela and Utkela (Kalahandi) airports in Odisha that are likely to be connected.
Under the government’s ambitious UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) scheme, the airports will have flight operations.
Under the scheme, fares have been capped at Rs 2,500 for a one-hour flight. The main motto of the scheme is to boost the air connectivity to and from unserved and under-served airports and making flying more affordable.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the ‘game changer’ and ‘step change’ UDAN scheme would boost the national and regional aviation in the country.
Sinha said that based the first phase of bidding for airports, the UDAN scheme is going to be a game changer, as it will increase the total number of operational airports in the country to 118 from 75 now
He said that the government hopes to have the first flight under UDAN in February as several airports like in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) and Cooch Behar (West Bengal) are “ready to go”. He also said that the bids for the routes would be finalized by February 3.