In UDAN’s second bidding, the government has acquired 141 proposals, covering 502 routes. The project includes cities like Haridwar, Tezpur, Tirupati, Srinagar, Shillong and Imphal, where air connectivity is poor. UDAN is a government initiative that aims to connect India’s under-served and unserved airports to larger metros; and also make air travel affordable to the common people.

Better flight connectivity from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh have been specified under this regional connectivity scheme.

The round two of UDAN includes 49 unserved, 15 under-served airports and 24 helipads. Currently, the names of the airlines that participated in second round haven’t been disclosed.

“In 70 years of Independence, we had 70 active airports. With UDAN, we will make 80 more airports active within one year,” says Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

In the first round of bidding, five airlines were chosen to operate on 128 routes, which connect 27 served, 31 unserved and 12 under-served airports. From the first round, 13 RCS airports have already started operating, and 12 are ready to start.

Sanchita Nambiar