New Delhi: The government on Friday said its ambitious regional connectivity scheme (RCS) has received a healthy response from the aviation industry.
Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said the government has so far received 20 registrations from air operator permit holders to participate in the upcoming reverse bidding round for allocation of RCS routes.
Currently the pre-bidding round for RCS routes is underway. The government has set December 5, 2016, as the proposal due date (PDD) for the process.
Choubey spoke at the two-day Aero Expo India-2016 organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to Choubey, by December 2016 dozens of scheduled commercial operations could begin to connect small towns in the country under the regional connectivity drive.
The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been designated as implementing agency for the scheme.
The objective of RCS christened as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is to enhance air passenger traffic in the country by stimulating demand on regional routes.
The UDAN scheme will be in operation for a period of 10 years.
The operations under the scheme are intended to provide air connectivity to un-served and remote routes with airfare being capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour's journey of around 500 km.
The allocation of routes under the scheme will be based on a reverse bidding mechanism, with selected airlines' getting a VGF (viability gap funding), apart from various other financial concessions for a period of three years.
The scheme is a key component of the recently approved National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), whose main objective is to "enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development."