Flying High: Indian Government Initiative - UDAN Scheme

With its diverse geography and vast population, India has always strived to ensure connectivity in regional areas of Tier II and III cities. While major Indian cities have well-established airports, smaller towns need to catch up when it comes to air connectivity. According to a report published by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, India has acknowledged the disparity and aimed to bridge the gap as the third-largest aviation market in the industry. The MoCA introduced UDAN - Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (Let the Common Man Fly)—in 2016. This groundbreaking Scheme has transformed the aviation landscape and brought the joy of flying to millions of Indians.

What is the aim of the UDAN Scheme?

UDAN launched as a part of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), emphasised making air travel more accessible and affordable for all citizens. The scheme aims to advance regional connectivity, stimulate economic growth, foster tourism, and generate employment opportunities in previously under-serviced regions nationwide.

Now, let's look at some detailed features of this scheme. 

1. Regional Connectivity: The primary objective of UDAN is to upgrade under-serviced air routes connecting Tier II and Tier III cities and hilly regions. This development program has helped bridge the urban-rural gap by expanding the aviation network to areas with little to no connectivity.

2. Subsidised Airfares: The government introduced a subsidy mechanism for airlines to operate on less profitable routes. Airlines can bid for routes, and the one that quotes the lowest subsidy gets the contract.

3. Affordable Tickets: UDAN ensures that specific seats on the routes are available at lower fares, making air travel more affordable for common citizens. Moreover, this has opened up opportunities for people who could only dream of flying.

4. Infrastructure Development: The program includes developing and upgrading airports’ infrastructures in underdeveloped areas. It includes constructing new airports and improving the existing ones, boosting economic development in such regions.

5. Promotion of Tourism: Enhanced air connectivity to under-serviced and developing areas can boost tourism, contributing to the local economies and generating employment opportunities.

6. Employment Generation: The UDAN Scheme has propelled airlines to broaden their services, creating employment opportunities across multiple undeveloped sectors linked to aviation. These include airport operations, ground handling, and services related to tourism.

The UDAN Scheme is a shining example of the Indian government's commitment to the air industry's growth and development. By making air travel accessible and affordable to all, this initiative has improved connectivity. As UDAN continues to soar to new heights, it promises a brighter, more connected, and prosperous India where the common people can fly.


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