Regional connectivity dream coming true
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has awarded 10 routes in Chhattisgarh from various airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), officials informed.
Nine routes will be operated by Air Odisha and one by IndiGo Airlines.
The routes to be operated by Air Odisha are--Ambikapur-Bilaspur, Bilaspur-Ambikapur, Jagdalpur-Raipur, Jagdalpur-Vishakhapatnam, Raigarh-Raipur, Raipur-Jagdalpur, Raipur-Jharsuguda,, Raipur-Raigarh and Raipur-Utkela.
The IndiGo Airlines will operate on Raipur-Allahabad route, they informed.
Notably, Chhattisgarh has signed MoU with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation for promoting Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) in the State, officials informed.
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.
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