On Monday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation in a statement said that the Government of India has sanctioned Rs 48 crore for Jagdalpur, Rs 27 crore for Ambikapur and Rs 33 crore for Bilaspur under the UDAN scheme for up-gradation and development of the 3 airports in Chhattisgarh.
Speaking at the inauguration of flight operations by Alliance Air from Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) to Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Hyderabad (Telangana) under UDAN scheme on Monday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that this air connectivity will fulfil the aspirations of people of the region and provide impetus to the local economy.
Puri further informed that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has planned for the investment of about 900 crores to develop and expand Raipur airport which includes expansion of the terminal building. Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had approved the bid of Alliance Air for the operation of RCS Flight from Bilaspur to Bhopal under UDAN 4.0 which is expected to commence shortly.
In a separate statement, which was a written reply by Puri in the Rajya Sabha, the Ministry informed that 78 new routes have been identified and approved under 1st phase of UDAN 4.0 and the Airports Authority of India is in the process of awarding these routes to the Selected Airline Operators (SAOs).
It further said that the reasons for non-operationalization of few UDAN routes are:
i) Lack of infrastructure at civil airports due to non-availability of land, delay related to compliance of the regulations by the airport operators, lack of road connectivity to the airports.
ii) Non-completion of the process involved in obtaining Scheduled Commuter Operators Permit by the Airlines.
It added that COVID-19 also "adversely affected" the overall commencement of new routes.