What is UDAN 5.1?

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), a scheme aimed at improving connectivity to remote areas of the country. The latest version, UDAN 5.1, focuses on last mile connectivity through helicopters.

Last Mile Connectivity and Helicopter Routes

UDAN 5.1 marks a significant development as it is the first round under RCS-UDAN specifically designed for helicopter routes. The scheme aims to bring air connectivity to remote areas where traditional airports are not feasible. By utilizing helicopters, it becomes possible to reach even the most inaccessible regions, promoting inclusive development.

Affordability and Increased Viability

To make flying in helicopters more affordable, the airfare caps have been reduced by 25%. This reduction enables passengers to experience the convenience and speed of air travel at a more affordable cost. Additionally, the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for helicopter operators have been increased substantially. This enhancement in financial viability incentivizes operators to provide services in remote areas, bridging the connectivity gap.

Previous Success and Future Impact

Under the earlier rounds of the UDAN scheme, 46 helicopter routes have been operationalized, benefitting hilly areas and North East states. The current round, UDAN 5.1, aims to extend coverage to a larger number of routes, providing improved accessibility to previously underserved regions. This expansion will not only enhance connectivity but also have a positive impact on the Indian civil aviation industry, giving the helicopter segment the boost it needs.

Overall Impact of UDAN

The UDAN scheme has had a transformative impact on air travel in India. Passengers have gained increased access to air connectivity, airlines have received concessions for operating regional routes, and unserved regions have experienced economic development. UDAN 5.1 aligns with the Prime Minister’s vision of affordable air travel to remote destinations, bringing these areas closer to mainstream opportunities.



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