The Regional Connection Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) has completed four successful rounds. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has now introduced UDAN 5.1 to improve connection to the nation’s most distant regions and achieve last-mile connectivity using helicopters.
The key characteristics are
- The program now permits routes where one of the origin or destination locations is in a priority area, expanding the range of operations for operators. Both of the points have to be in areas of priority beforehand.
- To make helicopter travel more accessible for passengers, airfare caps have been decreased by as much as 25%.
- To improve the financial sustainability for running the granted routes, the sustainability Gap Funding (VGF) ceilings for the operators have been significantly raised for both single- and twin-engine helicopters.
: 46 helicopter routes that benefited hilly and North-East states were already operationalized through earlier phases of the program. The current round intends to extend the scope of air connectivity by covering an even greater number of routes.