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States » East

Tripura welcomes UDAN-0.4 to open 30 airports in NE

Tripura welcomes UDAN-0.4 to open 30 airports in NE

Agartala, Dec 7 (UNI) Tripura government welcomed the move of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to open six underserved and 24 unserved airports in the Northeast, including three in Tripura, to boost tourism and business in the region.

Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma said the Central government processed the fourth round of bidding under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) or regional air connectivity scheme three days ago, which aims to connect unserved and underserved airports and to make affordable for flying.

In order to boost tourism, the ministry attempted to start Umrangso Reservoir of Assam as a water aerodrome.

There were several attempts to make the UDAN scheme successful in the region for the last five years but no airline offered to operate flights between the capitals and other major cities of northeast.

Except Guwahati, Agartala and Imphal, the 11 cities of the region could not be brought under the inter-connectivity grid.

“Since the beginning of Prime Minister Modi's rule, there has been a desperate attempt to ensure affordable and easy air connectivity under UDAN for better socio-economic integration among the northeastern states but its yet to show any success. Deccan Aviation had launched service in Agartala, Shillong, Aizawl and Kolkata sectors last year but could not continue," said Dev Varma.

"The most ambitious UDAN-4.0 scheme has been launched to boost inter-regional air connectivity in changing economic scenario in South Asian region,” he added.

According to him, underserved airports at Passighat and Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Jorhat, Rupsi and Tezpur (Assam) and Shillong (Meghalaya) were included in the bidding process to increase the flight movement in those airports at affordable price, in order to stimulate economic development in the region.

Besides the three unserved airports of Tripura - Kailashahar, Kamalpur and Khowai, the ministry has targeted to restart Alinya, Along, Daparizo, Mechuka, Tuting, Vijaynagar, Walong, Yinghiong and Ziro (Arunachal Pradesh), Chabua, Darrang, Dinjan, Ledo, Misa Mari, Nazira, Sadiya, Sorbhog, Sukerating (Assam) and Dwara, Shella and Tura (Meghalaya) in the shortest possible time.

Under the scheme, the Ministry of Civil Aviation will provide additional Viability Gap Funding (VGF) up to 25 per cent to the airlines.

The Centre will bear 90 per cent of VGF while remaining 10 per cent will have to be borne by the state governments. Excise Duty at the rate of 2 per cent will be levied on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), which is expected to attract the aviation companies to operate small aircrafts.


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