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C’garh bullish on seat underwriting with adjoining States

| | Raipur | in Raipur

Chhattisgarh is positive about additional seat underwriting within as well as with adjoining States for ensuring sufficient passenger load for air service operators under the Regional Connectivity (RCS) scheme, officials informed.

Chhattisgarh has signed MoU with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation for promoting Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).

Notably the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation is in the process of signing of MoU with State Governments to ensure their commitment and support to regional air transport operations by providing concessions as required under the RCS for making it successful.

The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier released the draft Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for stakeholder consultation, with the twin objectives of promoting balanced regional growth and making flying affordable for masses.

The RCS is the key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy which was released by the Ministry on June 15, 2016. The scheme, which would be in operation for a period of 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports.

This would be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of Central and State government concessions, as well as Viability Gap Funding to the interested airlines to kick-off operations from such airports, so that the passenger fares are kept affordable.

The fare for a one hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would now be capped at Rs 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different lengths / duration.

A Regional Connectivity Fund would be created to fund the VGF requirements under the scheme. The same would be funded through a levy on certain domestic flights.

The partner State Governments would also contribute a 20% share to this fund (10% for North Eastern States). For balanced regional growth, the allocations under the scheme would be equitably spread across the 5 geographical regions of the country viz North, West, South, East and North-east.

The States have been given a key role under the scheme. The selection of airports where RCS operations would be done in consultation with State Government and after confirmation of their concessions. This will be based on the selection of routes by the airline operators.

Chhattisgarh is aggressively focussing on development of three regional airports mainly Jagdalpur, Ambikapur and Raigarh under the Regional Connectivity Scheme of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, officials informed.

The State has already spent more than Rs 34 crore in the development of the aforesaid three air strips. The Union Home Ministry appears to be very keen to see Jagdalpur Airport in Bastar to be developed and fully operational at the earliest.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his review meeting on May 8 in his address in New Delhi had stated that the Airport at Jagdalpur will be operational very soon.

Notably, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on January 27 this year had performed bhoomi pujan for construction of terminal building and for taking up expansion works for Jagdalpur Airport at a function held here on Thursday.

During the programme, the Chief Minister had  also inspected the construction site.

The Chief Minister while addressing gathering said that with the construction of terminal building, flights would be started soon which will surely benefit the people of Bastar division.

The State government has inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air India for launching flights whereas the monetary loss to the airline if any would be borne by the State government as per the MoU, Singh further said.

However, he expressed hope that there would be no loss for providing air services as most of the people want to travel by air from Jagdalpur.

With a view to improving quality of service and amenities for passengers, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to develop land parcels of approximately 80 acres around the new integrated terminal of Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur.

The AAI believes that development of the city side of the airport would make the region an ‘economic hub’ with exceptional connectivity, officials informed.

The city side development of the airport envisages setting up of hotels and convention centers with an ‘Airport Commercial District’ which would also include ‘Airport Business District’, and a host of world-class passenger convenience amenities among others.

On the other hand, the Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) will design and develop an ‘integrated zone’ near the Swami VivekanandaAirport, Raipur.

NRDA’s Airport zone is spread over an area of 1192.56 hectares and the proposed land use will be mainly for transportation purposes, officials stated.

Notably, Naya Raipur city had been divided into six zones  for which zoning plans are being prepared under Naya Raipur Land Use Plan-2031.

The NRDA Planning Area consists of three layers mainly- Planning Layer-I consisting of Naya Raipur city including the green belt area in 9522 hectares, the Planning Layer-II consists of Peripheral Rural Zone in an area of 13,028 hectares and Planning Layer-III consists of the Airport Zone spread in 1192.56 hectares.




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