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udaanThe Government of India introduced the UDAN scheme on 21 October 2016 with an aim to “Let the common citizen of the country fly” at affordable price. UDAN is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market. It is a market-based mechanism in which airlines bid for seat subsidies. The scheme has been rolled out in 2016 for a period of 10 years. It envisages providing connectivity to unserved and underserved airports of the country through revival of existing airstrips and airports.

Successful Paths

  • SpiceJet has thrown a glow on flyers by announcing eight daily new flights to Gwalior and four daily new flights to Bhopal. Gwalior will make the airline’s 52nd destination and 11th destination under UDAN-RCS.
  • Under UDAN, IndiGo, Heritage Aviation, Ghodawat Airlines and Turbo Aviation will launch flights connecting Hindon airport near Ghaziabad to Jamnagar, Shimla, Kalburgi, Kannur, Nashik, Hubli, Faizabad and Pithoragarh.
  • Six airports in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, namely Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Kadapa and Tirupati, will see expansion.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched civilian flight operations at Hindon Airforce Base, Asia’s largest air base.
  • Maharashtra has restored its five air routes services — Mumbai-Nashik, Mumbai-Jalgaon, Mumbai-Kolhapur, Mumbai-Solapur and Nashik-Pune.These routes have been allotted to SpiceJet and Trujet.
  • Seaplanes to fly on 18 air routes among 235 routes identified under RCS. As many as 69.30 lakh seats per year will be added across the 235 routes, wherein more than a lakh will be through seaplanes.

Budget Highlights

  • In the Interim Budget 2019, Rs 480 crore was allocated under UDAN.
  • FY18 saw an allocation of Rs 441 crore.
  • Overall, the aviation industry has got an allocation of Rs 4,500 crore for 2019-20.

UDAN 3.0 – Future Prospects & Concepts

  • At present, 16 unserved airports, 17 underserved airports, six water aerodromes and 50 served airports will be connected under the scheme based on the proposals identified for award.
  • 235 routes comprising 189 Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) Routes and 46 Tourism Routes would be connected across 29 states in the country.
  • Addition of 69.30 lakh seats annually across the RCS Routes with more than 1 lakh annual seats through seaplanes and more than 15 lakh annual seats on tourism routes. This is in addition to the number of seats created under UDAN 1 (13 lakh) and UDAN 2 (29 lakh).
  • The idea of the scheme is to connect Tier-II and Tier-III cities at affordable price so that every citizen of the country should start flying rather than travelling.
  • The idea is to build greenfield airports and improve the existing ones.
  • Make full usage of air infrastructure and lift the air division of the country.
  • UDAN will also help in creating job opportunity for the masses.

Airport projects

As per data compiled by Projects Today, a total of 192 airport projects are in the pipeline. Out of which 115 are greenfield projects and the remaining 7 are redevelopment or expansion projects. Once completed, the projects will further boost air connectivity between cities and ease congestion of the existing airports.

Navi Mumbai International Airport: Touted as a mega airport project, the Navi Mumbai International Airport will come up at Panvel in Maharashtra at an investment of Rs 16,000 crore. The airport will have two parallel runways connected by the 22.5 km Sewri-Nhava trans harbour link, compared to the one runway at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. The airport will handle 80 planes landing every hour many more than the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport which handles the landing of only 45 planes. The project will spread across 1,160 ha of land, with passenger handling capacity of 10 million annually and 60 million passengers by 2030. The work on the project is expected to begin by June 2020.

International Airport and Aviation Hub at Jewar: The project by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority involves developing an International Airport and Taj International Aviation Hub (TIAH) at an investment of Rs 15,754 crore at Jewar, Uttar Pradesh. The project will come up over 3,000 ha of land and be implemented in a phased manner. The airport will have facilities for airliners’ maintenance, four runways, international cargo handling, specialised facilities for perishable exports like flowers and agricultural produce and entertainment centres. Moreover, the state government has also given boost to the project by providing Rs 800 crore in the 2019-20 budget for its development. The project is envisaged to cater to 30-50 million passengers 10-15 years down the line.

Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport: The Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) intends to develop a greenfield project in Purander, Pune, with a corpus amount of Rs 7,500 crore. The airport will come up over 3,300 ha of land, of which 1,500 ha will be used for basic airport, cargo space, maintenance and hangers, 500 ha for the state government rehabilitation policy and the remaining 1,300 ha for developmental projects.The airport project has received site clearance and the state government has given administrative and financial approval of Rs 3,513 crore for land acquisition.

International Airport at Bhogapuram: The Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation is developing a greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram through PPP on DBFOT basis. The project will spread over 15,000 acre of land parcel, comprises a terminal with a capacity of 24.3 MPPA and be implemented in three phases. The project will have two runways, jumbo airbus A380 aircraft, terminal building, cargo truck parking, two taxiways, visitor parking, among others. On 14 February 2019, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation stone for the project. GMR Airports (GAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure, has emerged as the highest bidder for design, build, finance, construction, development, upgradation, modernisation, operation and maintenance of the airport for 40 years.

In all, 192 airport projects will come up in near future, of which 49 projects are already under execution. The following table shows the top five states where 71 projects with an aggregate investment of over Rs 84,000 crore will be implemented.

States No of Projects Cost (Rs Crore)
Uttar Pradesh 20 19,582
Maharashtra 16 30,536
Gujarat 12 10,204
Andhra Pradesh 12 6,107
Karnataka 11 18,440


The creation of these giant airports will not only improve air connectivity between cities, but will also create immense employment opportunities for the masses.

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