A total of 78 new routes were approved under the fourth round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme-Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) following the three successful rounds of bidding by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA). This will further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country. The Northeastern Region, hilly states and islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new air routes.
Special boost is being given to connectivity in Northeast with routes from Guwahati to Tezu, Rupsi, Tezpur, Passighat, Misa and Shillong. People will be able to fly from Hissar to Chandigarh, Dehradun and Dharmshala under these UDAN 4.0 routes. Routes from Varanasi to Chitrakoot and Shravasti have also been approved. Agatti, Kavaratti and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep have also been connected.
So far, 766 routes have been sanctioned under the UDAN scheme, with 29 served, 8 unserved (including 2 heliports and 1 water aerodrome), and 2 underserved airports being included in the list for approved routes.
The fourth round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on the Northeastern Regions, hill states and island territories. The airports that had already been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of viability gap funding (VGF) under the Scheme. Under UDAN 4.0, the operation of helicopter and seaplanes is also included. Since its inception, MoCA has operationalised 274 UDAN routes that have connected 45 airports and 3 heliports.