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UDAN Scheme

  • 21 Oct 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Ahead of UDAN Day (21st October), the Ministry of Civil Aviation flagged off 6 routes, expanding the aerial connectivity of North-East India, under the UDAN Scheme.

  • The Government of India has acknowledged the contribution of the scheme and has identified 21st October as UDAN Day, the day on which the scheme document was first released.

Key Points

  • Launch:
    • Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) was launched as a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016.
  • Objectives:
    • To develop the regional aviation market.
    • To provide affordable, economically viable and profitable air travel on regional routes to the common man even in small towns.
  • Features:
    • The scheme envisages providing connectivity to un-served and underserved airports of the country through the revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme is operational for a period of 10 years.
      • Under-served airports are those which do not have more than one flight a day, while unserved airports are those where there are no operations.
    • Financial incentives from the Centre, state governments and airport operators are extended to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and under-served airports, and keep airfares affordable.
  • Achievements So Far:
    • Till date, 387 routes and 60 airports have been operationalised out of which 100 routes are awarded in the North East alone.
    • Under the KRISHI UDAN Scheme, 16 airports have been identified to enhance the export opportunities of the North East region establishing dual benefits of enhancement of cargo movements and exports.

UDAN 1.0

  • Under this phase, 5 airlines companies were awarded 128 flight routes to 70 airports (including 36 newly made operational airports).

UDAN 2.0

  • In 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced 73 underserved and unserved airports.
  • For the first time, helipads were also connected under phase 2 of the UDAN scheme.

UDAN 3.0

  • Inclusion of Tourism Routes under UDAN 3 in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Inclusion of Seaplanes for connecting Water Aerodromes.
  • Bringing in a number of routes in the North-East Region under the ambit of UDAN.

UDAN 4.0

  • In 2020, 78 new routes were approved under the 4th round of RCS-UDAN to further enhance the connectivity to remote & regional areas of the country.
  • Kavaratti, Agatti, and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep will be connected by the new routes of UDAN 4.0.

UDAN 4.1

  • The UDAN 4.1 focuses on connecting smaller airports, along with special helicopter and seaplane routes.
  • Some new routes have been proposed under the Sagarmala Seaplane services.
    • Sagarmala Seaplane Services is an ambitious project under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways with potential airline operators.


  • It was launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in August 2020, on international and national routes to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products so that it improves their value realisation.

International UDAN

  • Under International UDAN, the plan is to connect India’s smaller cities directly to some key foreign destinations in the neighbourhood.

Way Forward

  • Airlines have leveraged the scheme strategically towards gaining additional slots at congested tier-1 airports, monopoly status on routes and lower operational costs. Thus, stakeholders should work towards making the UDAN scheme sustainable on its own and improve its efficiency.
  • Airlines should undertake marketing initiatives so that more and more people can take advantage of the UDAN scheme.
  • More infrastructure is required for the successful implementation of the scheme across the country.

Source: PIB

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