Government of India awards 56 airports under Regional Connectivity Scheme--UDAN

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hyderabad : The Government has awarded 56 airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)–UDAN in the last two years, of which,18 airports have been operationalised and every month, two airports are being made functional under the scheme.

Civil Aviation Secretary Mr. R.N Choubey said this at ‘WINGS INDIA 2018’, organized by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India. The theme of the four-day biennial event this year is ‘India-Global Aviation Hub’.

Mr. Choubey said that the Government was committed to connecting the cities and towns to increase regional connectivity in the country. He added that oil prices needed to remain soft, below $80 a barrel for the sector to grow at a CAGR of 15% for the next 20 years.

Highlighting a major concern of the sector, he said that VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was among the highest in the world. To address the issue, Mr. Choubey suggested that either the ATF is included in the GST framework or the states bring down VAT under 5% on ATF.

Agreeing to the Secretary’s recommendations on ATF, Mr. K T Rama Rao, Minister for IT E&C, MAUD, Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana, said that Telangana had the potential to become an aviation hub. The Minister urged the Central Government to open a National Aviation University in the state of Telangana.

Mr. Sandip Somany, Senior Vice President, FICCI, said that Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN, merits a special mention. It provides greater connectivity to under-served and unserved airports of the country. Under UDAN-1, the government is expected to provide around 1.3 million seats per year, of which half will be covered by airfare of maximum Rs 2,500. Under UDAN-2, around 2.5 million RCS seats and nearly 5.5 million total passenger seats will be available per annum. He added that the conference will focus on fostering partnership to transform Indian aviation and the role of conducive regulatory framework to facilitate growth of civil aviation market. It will represent the strength and opportunities in the aviation sector to the potential stakeholders.

Mr. BS Bhullar, Director General, DGCA also graced the occasion.

While delivering the vote of thanks, Ms. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, urged the participants to actively participate in the event.

During the inaugural session, a white paper and Exhibitors Directory were unveiled by the dignitaries.

Coinciding with WINGS India 2018, FICCI is set to launch its maiden edition of ‘WINGS INDIA AWARDS’ for Excellence in the aviation sector. The awards will be conferred upon the Aviation-related Companies/Institutions/Organizations in 14 categories in the evening today.