The Ministry of Civil Aviation had identified nine airports namely, Kolhapur, Jalgaon, Solapur, Amravati, Nanded, Nasik, Ratnagiri, Gondia and Sindhudurg for revival and operation of RCS flights under UDAN scheme in Maharashtra, out of which 6 airports have been operationalised.
Operational airports include Kolhapur, Jalgaon, Nanded, Nasik, Gondia and Sindhudurg while development work is in progress at the remaining airports, according to the Ministry.
UDAN is a demand-driven scheme, wherein airline operators assess the feasibility of operation on a particular route and submit bids under the Scheme from time to time. An airport which is included in the awarded routes of UDAN and requires upgradation/development for commencement of UDAN operations is developed under the ‘Revival of unserved and underserved airports’ scheme.
Airports available for bidding
Currently, bidding is open for UDAN 5.2 to enhance connectivity to remote and regional areas, achieve last-mile connectivity and boost tourism through small aircraft (<20 seats). This scheme offers greater operational flexibility to small aircraft operators, permitting them to operate up to 40 per cent of annually quoted RCS seats and a minimum of 10 per cent in any given quarter.
The unserved/underserved airstrips in Maharashtra including Akola, Baramati, Chandrapur, Darna Camp, Deolali, Dhulia, Gondia, Jath, Karad, Kawalpur, Kudal, Latur (MADC), Lonavala Amby Valley, Osmanabad Phaltan, Ratnagiri, Shirpur and Waluj are available in the scheme document for bidding.
“UDAN scheme in Maharashtra has optimised air transportation, bridged connectivity gaps and stimulated economic growth across the State” says entrepreneur Ashok Jadhav adding that the scheme is also catering to the unique needs of small aircraft operators and promoting tourism.