RCS-UDAN, launched in 2016, has significantly improved air connectivity in India, focusing on remote areas and underserved regions. It completed six successful years in 2023, marking a milestone in the country’s aviation sector.
- RCS-UDAN connected previously unserved routes, linking cities and towns that lacked air connectivity.
- Started with UDAN 1.0, expanding to UDAN 5.2, the scheme continuously evolved, addressing various challenges and demands.
- More than 130 lakh passengers benefited from RCS-UDAN, demonstrating its success in making air travel accessible.
- Various versions of UDAN introduced different elements, like helipads and seaplanes, to diversify connectivity options.
- Notable airports like Shimla, Khajuraho, and Tezu were connected, fostering tourism and local economic growth.
- UDAN 5.0 removed the cap on distance between origin and destination, enhancing operational flexibility for airlines.
- Airlines were required to commence operations within 4 months of route awards, promoting quicker connectivity.
- UDAN contributed significantly to the tourism sector by connecting popular destinations and promoting religious and cultural tourism.
- Introduction of tourism routes and expansion of helicopter services in hilly regions stimulated tourism, benefiting local economies.
Promoting Small Aircraft Operators
- UDAN 5.2 provided greater flexibility to small aircraft operators, allowing them to operate a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 40% of annually quoted RCS seats, enhancing last-mile connectivity.
Impact on Aviation Industry
- RCS-UDAN spurred the growth of the civil aviation industry, leading to the emergence of successful regional airlines.
- Demand for various types of aircraft increased, with orders exceeding 1,000 aircraft for the next decade, indicating the scheme’s positive impact on the industry.