Following four successful rounds of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) and with version 5.0 of the fifth round underway, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched UDAN 5.1 to further enhance the connectivity to remote areas of the country and achieve last mile connectivity through helicopters.
For the first time under RCS-UDAN, this round is designed specifically for helicopter routes.
The main features include:
- An increase in the scope of operations for operators wherein the scheme will now allow routes where one of the origin or destination locations is in a priority area. Earlier both points had to be in priority areas.
- Airfare caps have been reduced by as much as 25% to make flying in helicopters more affordable for passengers.
- Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for the operators have been increased substantially for both single and twin-engine helicopters to enhance financial viability for operating the awarded routes.