New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS): A total of 453 routes have commenced, operationalising 70 airports, including two water aerodromes and nine heliports, under the government's regional connectivity scheme (RCS).
The Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the RCS-UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) in October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable for the masses.
More than 2.15 lakh UDAN flights have operated and over 1.1 crore passengers have availed the benefits of UDAN flights so far. The scheme has been able to provide air connectivity to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities at affordable rates and has transformed the way people travel.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Thursday said that the UDAN scheme is applicable for a period of 10 years from the date of notification of the scheme.
"The government has set a target to operationalise 1,000 UDAN routes during the currency of the scheme and to revive/develop 100 unserved and underserved airports/heliports/water aerodromes by 2024," it said.
The ministry informed that the government has approved a budget of Rs 4,500 crore for the revival of the existing unserved and underserved airports/airstrips of the state governments, Airports Authority of India, PSUs and civil enclaves.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, monitors the progress for the revival/development of awarded aerodromes under UDAN and the same is reviewed by the ministry in consultation with the stakeholders from time to time.