New Delhi, Dec 09 (UiTV/IANS) – A total of 453 routes have commenced, operationalizing 70 airports, including two water aerodromes and nine heliports, under the government’s regional connectivity scheme (RCS).
The Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the RCS-UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) in October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable for the masses.
More than 2.15 lakh UDAN flights have operated and over 1.1 crore passengers have availed the benefits of UDAN flights so far. The scheme has been able to provide air connectivity to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities at affordable rates and has transformed the way people travel.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Thursday said that the UDAN scheme is applicable for a period of 10 years from the date of notification of the scheme.
“The government has set a target to operationalise 1,000 UDAN routes during the currency of the scheme and to revive/develop 100 unserved and underserved airports/heliports/water aerodromes by 2024,” it said.
The ministry informed that the government has approved a budget of Rs 4,500 crore for the revival of the existing unserved and underserved airports/airstrips of the state governments, Airports Authority of India, PSUs and civil enclaves.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, monitors the progress for the revival/development of awarded aerodromes under UDAN and the same is reviewed by the ministry in consultation with the stakeholders from time to time.
Aviation Ministry’s consultative committee meets to discuss GAGAN Mission
The meeting of the consultative committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation was held on Thursday under the chairmanship of Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. The subject of discussion was GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) system which is a Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS), developed jointly by AAI and ISRO.
The meeting was attended by MPs who were informed that GAGAN is a part of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which takes input from the core GPS (Global Positioning System) constellation and augments navigation data through the GEO stationary satellites for providing better accuracy, integrity and continuity of service for its application in civil aviation.
The National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP-2016) prescribes that new aircraft being registered in India from 1st January 2019 will mandatorily have to be GAGAN enabled.
GAGAN has benefits in aviation as well as in non-aviation fields. In the aviation sector, on the safety front, GAGAN is operational and offers two levels of service; RNP 0.1 (Required Navigation Performance 0.1) over the Indian Flight Information region and APV I (Approach with Vertical Guidance, Level I) over the major part of the Indian landmass, to its aviation users.
GAGAN can support operations for all phases of flight including Oceanic, Approach, Terminal, Surface. It provides lower operational minima on non-ILS runways and supports advanced procedures like curved approaches. It helps in designing more efficient routes which can result in fuel savings. It can help in operations in areas with absence of navigation infrastructure. GAGAN can work as a back up to ILS approaches.
In Non-Aviation, GAGAN helps in Disaster Management. With the use of the GAGAN message service (GMS), early warning messages can be broadcast on the occurrence of natural disasters, calamities, danger to safety of life within GAGAN coverage area for Search and Rescue Messages, Relief and mitigation related messages, Meteorological information and other uses. It can enhance safety, mobility, regulation and enable payment applications.
Officials said that the Airport Authority of India designs various types of landing approach procedures for various Indian Airports. Till date, 51 GAGAN based approach procedures have been designed for various runways of Indian airports. Flight trials using GAGAN based LPV approach procedures were successfully conducted by Indigo on 28th April 2022 at Kishangarh Airport, Rajasthan. As on date, 2 GAGAN based approaches for two runway ends of Kishangarh Airport have been promulgated in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) for aviation usage.
Conduct of a flight trial using GAGAN based approaches is planned to be conducted shortly for Kannur Runway (RWY) 07. Flight trials of GAGAN based approaches for Mumbai RWY 32 and Cochin RWY 09 are planned to be conducted after approval from the DGCA. The AAI is making efforts for ensuring availability, continuity and integrity of air navigation services by such technological enhancement in India.