Bidding for Second Round of UDAN Begins. The second round of bidding for Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN was launched last week by P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju – Minister of Civil Aviation. While briefing the media, Raju said that, “the thrust in the second round will be on improving connectivity to priority areas like the North East, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshdweep by introducing more operational flexibility and promoting helicopter operations”.
Bidding for Second Round of UDAN Begins. Some of the important changes that will take place include: routes with stage length less than 150 Kms will now be permitted for operations as RCS routes through fixed wing aircraft. While exclusivity of operations will continue to be applicable for 3 years, selected Airline Operators (SAO) can issue No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to other operators willing to operate on the respective RCS Route. In order to provide additional flexibility to SAO, maximum number of flights with VGF have been increased to 14 for priority areas. SAO’s can also increase the number of flights on RCS routes to any number. With the launch of second phase of UDAN minimum performance specifications will no longer be applicable on Non-RCS routes.
Helicopter operations under the scheme are limited only to priority areas. To enable and encourage this, VGF Caps for helicopters has been increased, 10% of estimated annual inflows minimum performance specifications will no longer be applicable on Non-RCS Routes. All 13 passenger seats for helicopters will be considered as RCS Seats and VGF will be provided accordingly. Based on expert committee’s recommendation the methodology for computing helicopter flight duration has also been revised.
UDAN is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on 15th June 2016. UDAN was launched in October, 2016 to facilitate regional air connectivity by making it affordable for the masses.