The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has proposed around 392 routes under UDAN 4.1 bidding process.
The Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) — is a flagship scheme of MoCA envisaged to make air travel affordable and widespread in the country.
The scheme intends to boost inclusive national economic growth, employment opportunities and air transport infrastructure development across the nation. As of 13 March 2021, as many as 325 routes and 56 airports including five heliports and two water aerodromes have been operationalised under the UDAN Scheme.
The UDAN 4.1 round is focused on connecting smaller airports, along with special helicopter and seaplane routes. In addition to these, some new routes have been proposed under the Sagaramala Seaplane Services in consultation with the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
Following the four successful rounds of bidding, the special UDAN 4.1 bidding round invites bids for priority routes which have not been covered under UDAN so far.
This bidding round also includes routes especially requested by the state governments/Union Territory administrations and earlier cancelled routes. The Ministry has observed great demand on many Tier-2 and Tier-3 UDAN routes attesting the necessity along with essentiality and criticality of these regional routes.
Some of the operational flexibilities are extended to airlines under the UDAN 4.1 to ensure suitable operation models to connect smaller cities/airstrips. Moreover, operations under NSOP will be allowed for seaplane, fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters for RCS routes awarded under the Scheme. The bidding process is expected to be completed by six weeks.