11 Airports in J&K, 2 in Ladakh Are Up For Bid Under UDAN Scheme

The scheme aims to improve connectivity and boost tourism in these areas
The scheme aims to connect under-served and unserved airports in the country
The scheme aims to connect under-served and unserved airports in the country

In an attempt to give Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh (the two regions were split into two union territories when Article 370 was scrapped by the government earlier this year) an infrastructure boost and promote tourism, the government has put up 11 and 2 airports, in the union territories respectively, up for bid under the UDAN scheme. The same was announced in a press release on December 3, 2019. According to the document, the civil aviation ministry wishes to focus more on the Northeast region, hill states, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh in the 4th round of UDAN. 

The airports selected under UDAN 4.0 are as follows

Jammu and Kashmir Akhnur, Chamb, Chushal, Fukche, Gurex, Jhangar, Miran Sahib, Panzgam, Poonch, Rajouri, and Udhampur.

Ladakh Kargil and Thoise

The UDAN, or Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik, scheme aims to connect unserved and under-served airports of the country while making flying more accessible to the public. It is the central government&rsquos regional air connectivity scheme. So far, 688 routes have been given to various air operators under the scheme.

For this bout, the government will be welcoming initial prospects till January 1, 2020. Counter proposals will then be entertained till January 13, 2020. Both airlines and airports that participate will be given incentives and concessions. The incentives for airlines include being charged an excise duty of 2% to be levied on Aviation Turbine Fuel, a reduction of VAT to 1% or less for the same and the freedom to engage in code-sharing arrangements with domestic as well as international carriers, among many others. Additionally, aerodromes and airports that participate will not be charged any Terminal Navigation Landing Charges on RCS flights, or any landing or parking charges, and will be allowed to undertake ground handling for their RCS flights at all airports. 

The final selection of air operators will be announced on January 31, 2020. This attempt is believed to improve connectivity to these areas and in turn, add to the tourist count.  

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