Prabhu seeks early operationalisation of 56 new airports under UDAN

Mumbai: Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu today said early operationalisation of 56 new airports under the regional connectivity scheme would be among his focus areas.
His remarks also come at a time when nearly half of the 128 routes awarded to various operators in the first phase of the scheme — UDAN — March 2017 are yet to be operational.
Five airlines — Alliance Air, SpiceJet, TruJet, Air Odisha and Air Deccan — had bagged 128 routes connecting over 30 unserved airports under the first phase. UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports as well as make flying more affordable for the people.
As many as 70 airports, including 31 unserved and 12 under-served ones, were to be connected under UDAN in the first phase.
In a statement, Prabhu said improving passenger amenities, promoting cargo handling facilities and early operationalisation of 56 new airports under UDAN would be his focus areas.
Under the initiative, announced in the 2018-19 Union budget, the government plans to expand airport capacity more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.
Prabhu said fair and equitable land, long-term master plan for airport and regional development and balanced economics for all stakeholders are the three key aspects of NABH Nirman.

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