Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday informed that 430 flights have covered a distance of 4,21,790 km to transport over 795 tons of essential and medical cargo delivered across the country under Lifeline Udan during the Coronavirus lockdown since March 26.
In a tweet, the minister also said that "Corona Warriors of Lifeline UDAN helped ICMR in completing one million RT-PCR tests by transporting PPE, testing kits, reagents, enzymes and supplies to ICMR labs across India."
Corona Warriors of Lifeline UDAN help ICMR in completing one million RT-PCR tests by transporting PPE, testing kits, reagents, enzymes & supplies to ICMR labs across India.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 3, 2020
430 flights have flown 4,21,790 kms to ferry 795 tons of cargo since 26th March. pic.twitter.com/IfaNDXWbVE
On Sunday, Hardeep Puri hailed the heroes of Indian Air Force who have themselves been at the frontline of India's fight against COVID-19 by operating more than 170 Lifeline UDAN flights with medical and essential cargo.
Heroes of @IAF_MCC who have themselves been at the frontline of India's fight against COVID19 by operating more than 170 Lifeline UDAN flights with medical & essential cargo fly past & shower petals to inspire our frontline healthcare workers.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 3, 2020
Salute. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/JrnRd8XJHQ
A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday decided that the Indian air space should be effectively used in a manner that flying time for travellers is reduced and airlines also save costs. That will be done in close cooperation with the Department of Military Affairs, an official statement said after PM Modi held a comprehensive meeting to review the strategies that could help in making India's civil aviation sector more efficient.
"For the generation of more revenue as well as to bring in more efficiency at the airports, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has been asked to expedite the process of handing over of six more airports on PPP basis by commencing the tender process within three months," it said.
The meeting, which was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri among others, also reviewed the e-DGCA project, aimed at bringing in more transparency in the DGCA's office and helping all stakeholders by reducing the processing time for various licences and permissions.
"It was also decided that all reform initiatives taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the organisations under it should proceed in a time-bound manner," the statement added. The civil aviation sector has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced governments around the world to impose restrictions on the movement of people and virtually shut flights.
(With PTI inputs)