Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M Scindia, along with Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Rajiv Bansal, Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Vineet Sood, CEO, Alliance Air, virtually inaugurated the greenfield Sindhudurg airport in Maharashtra and also flagged off the first flight from Sindhudurg to Mumbai under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (RCS-UDAN) Scheme of the government of India.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thakeray, graced the event virtually from Sindhudurg airport as the guest of honour.
The new airport will open new avenues of growth of local trade and tourism. These new flights will further add convenience and comfort to travellers creating a gateway for the people to easily access the Konkan region noted for its pristine beaches, temples and forts.
These new flights will facilitate people of Sindhudurg not only in their travel to Mumbai but also opens the horizon of additional connectivity with other metro cities directly connected with Mumbai such as Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad. Moreover, the Sindhudurg airport is a good option for people travelling to North Goa.
Sindhudurg airport also known as Chipi Airport is in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. The airport is spread over 275 ha area.
The runway length is 2,500 mtr (8,202 ft) and capable for the operation of narrow body aircraft like Airbus A-320 and Boeing B-737. The airport terminal building has the capacity to handle 200 departing and 200 arriving passengers during peak hours.
The inauguration marked the commencement of 61st airport under the UDAN Scheme and operationalisation of 381 routes under UDAN. Now people can fly at ease by opting for a flight of 85 minutes from Sindhudurg to Mumbai while earlier it was a road or train travel of more than 10 hours between these two cities.
The airline Alliance Air was awarded the Sindhudurg-Mumbai route under the UDAN 3.1. This is the 75th UDAN route operationalised by the airline.
Alliance Air will deploy its 70-seater ATR 72-600 aircraft on the route. The financial incentives in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is being provided from the Centre, state governments and airport operators to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports under the scheme.
To date, 381 routes and 61 airports including five heliports and two water aerodromes have been operationalised under the UDAN Scheme.