Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has invited bidding for 30 airports and airstrips and one water aerodrome in the Northeastern region bidding under UDAN 4.0 scheme. The fourth round of bidding under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) or regional air connectivity scheme commenced on December 3. UDAN seeks to connect unserved and underserved airports as well as make flying more affordable.
"With a focus on connectivity of Northeastern region, UDAN 4.0 scheme under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has invited bids for six underserved and 24 unserved airports/airstrips in the North-East states of India," an official release of the ministry said.
The ministry has also recognised Umrangso Reservoir in Assam as the water aerodrome location that is up for bidding in the region. The move is aimed at boosting tourism, providing aerial connectivity and transforming the economic situation of the region.
"Under the UDAN 4.0 scheme, MoCA is also providing additional Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of around 25% to the airlines," the release said. The list of unserved airports and airstrips up for bidding is in states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura.
Among unserved airports and airstrips in the region, Arunachal Pradesh has got nine potential spots — Alinya, Along, Daparizo, Mechuka, Tuting, Vijaynagar, Walong, Yinghiong and Ziro, Assam has nine available unserved air transport sites — Chabua, Darrang, Dinjan, Ledo, Misa Mari, Nazira, Sadiya, Sorbhog, Sukerating (Dum Duma), Meghalaya has three sites — Dwara, Shella and Tura, and Tripura has three defunct airports.
Apart from these, Passighat and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh, Jorhat, Rupsi, Tezpur in Assam, Shillong in Meghalaya are also underserved airports/airstrips that are up for bidding. The ministry will bear 90% of VGF and the remaining 10% will be borne by North East state governments.
"Excise duty at the rate of 2 per cent only shall be levied on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), drawn by Selected Airline Operators at RCS Airport(s) for RCS Flights, for three (3) years from the date of notification," read the release. The ministry aims to operationalise 1,000 routes and more than 100 airports in the next five years, as per the release.
(With inputs from Agencies)