Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia recently unveiled ambitious plans for Uttar Pradesh’s aviation infrastructure. The Modi government, displaying a strong commitment to the civil aviation sector, is set to construct nine new airports in the state within the next two years. This initiative will propel the total number of airports in Uttar Pradesh to an impressive 18.
Historic Growth and Investment
Scindia highlighted the government’s remarkable achievements in the aviation domain, citing the development of 75 airports over the past nine years. This is a substantial leap compared to the 74 airports established in the first 65 years of India’s independence. The total count of airports, heliports, and waterdromes nationwide has now reached 149.
Greenfield Airport Surge
The Modi administration’s focus on greenfield airports, constructed from the ground up on new sites, is evident. Since 2014, they have successfully built 12 greenfield airports, a stark contrast to the mere three constructed in the previous 65 years.
Meerut Airport and UDAN Scheme
Meerut Airport Development: Addressing the Meerut airport, identified under the UDAN scheme, Scindia clarified that operations can commence with small turboprop planes (ATR aircraft) using visual flight rules (VFR). However, he emphasized that the state government needs to allocate an additional 115 acres of land for the airport to be licensed and fully operational.
UDAN 4.2 Bidding Results: Under the UDAN 4.2 round of bidding, the Meerut-Lucknow-Meerut route has been awarded to FlyBig, a regional airline. This move aligns with the Regional Connectivity Service (RCS), a subsidized airfare scheme under UDAN. FlyBig is set to operate RCS flights with 19-seater aircraft, providing a frequency of 133 seats per week from the licensed Meerut airport.
Greenfield Airports Transforming Uttar Pradesh
Existing Greenfield Airports: Among the 12 greenfield airports nationwide, Uttar Pradesh boasts two: Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar). The Kushinagar airport, inaugurated in October 2021 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is expected to boost tourism and pilgrimage to the Buddhist circuit. Noida International Airport (NIA) at Jewar stands as the country’s most significant airport project, being developed by Zurich Airport International AG.
Upcoming Greenfield Airports: The visionary plans for Uttar Pradesh include the construction of seven additional greenfield airports in the next two years. These airports, strategically located in Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Sonbhadra, Lalitpur, Meerut, Moradabad, and Aligarh, aim to enhance regional connectivity and foster socio-economic development.
Future Trajectory: Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN
Government’s Vision: In line with the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) infrastructure scheme, the government aims to develop a total of 100 airports by 2024. This ambitious initiative seeks to make air travel more affordable and accessible, contributing to the overall progress and connectivity of the nation.
Important Questions Related to Exams
Q: What was the recent announcement regarding Uttar Pradesh’s airports?
A: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia revealed plans to build nine new airports in Uttar Pradesh over the next two years, increasing the total to 18.
Q: How does this fit into the Modi government’s aviation strategy?
A: The government’s focus on civil aviation has led to the development of 75 airports in the last nine years, with 12 greenfield airports constructed since 2014.
Q: What’s the status of the Meerut airport under the UDAN scheme?
A: Meerut airport, identified under UDAN, awaits an additional 115 acres for licensing. FlyBig won the Meerut-Lucknow-Meerut route bid and will operate RCS flights upon licensing.
Q: Which greenfield airports already exist in UP, and what’s planned for the future?
A: Uttar Pradesh currently has Kushinagar and Noida airports. The government plans seven more greenfield airports in Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Sonbhadra, Lalitpur, Meerut, Moradabad, and Aligarh.