Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated that the Indian aviation sector has witnessed investments of nearly Rs 75,000 crore in the last decade.

In a tweet, Scindia emphasised that this unprecedented capital investment of approximately Rs 75,000 crore has played a crucial role in driving employment growth in the country. Additionally, it has had a profound social impact, fulfilling the aspirations of people from all walks of life to partake in air travel.

During the past ten years, the government, led by PM Modi, “operationalised” 74 airports, including previously unused airports and newly constructed ones. Some of these airports had remained unutilised for decades, and had become “national liabilities”. This move has substantially improved connectivity and facilitated regional development, he added.

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Another achievement of the Civil Aviation Ministry over the last decade, according to Scindia, is the revival, upgradation, and operationalisation of 74 Airports, Heliports, and Water Aerodromes under the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme. This regional airport development programme, part of the Government of India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme, has enabled more than 1.23 crore people to fly on 2.23 lakh flights under its ambit.

Scindia said the development of 74 airports, heliports, and water aerodromes, reflects the government’s unwavering commitment to expanding infrastructure and enhancing accessibility to remote areas. These airports have become crucial gateways for direct connectivity to far-flung cities such as Darbhanga, Jharsuguda, Jamshedpur, Rourkela, and more. Additionally, the UDAN scheme has fostered the establishment of numerous regional airlines, serving these routes effectively.

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Recently, the Civil Aviation Ministry launched UDAN 5.0, with a primary focus on heliports, sea aerodromes, and regional airports. As part of this new round, defunct routes were recalibrated, and fresh routes introduced to enhance overall connectivity.

Scindia said the “new and stronger” version of UDAN 5.0 would accelerate progress, facilitating the addition of new routes and bringing the operationalisation of 1,000 routes and 50 additional airports, heliports, and water aerodromes closer to realisation.

The ministry will soon implement the UDAN 5.1 scheme, which will concentrate on connecting short routes through the use of sub-20 seater aircraft, with a specific emphasis on helicopter routes.