PUNE: Five state airports in Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nanded and Ozar have attracted the attention of airlines in connection with the Union government’s regional connectivity scheme, popularly known as UDAN (Udey Desh ka Aam Nagrik).
Sources in the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in New Delhi said that the first phase of the project, which calls for reviving 15 unserved or underserved airports and airstrips in 2017-18, will see the development of these airports, besides flight connectivity to different locations across the country, reports The Times of India.
“The airlines have shown interest in operating flights from these airports under the regional connectivity scheme. We do hope that at least four of these airports will start proper operation by this financial year. Since the scheme is demand driven, a bidding process for the airlines will be initiated and the selection of the airline or airlines will be done. Airlines have shown interest in operating flights to regional destinations in different parts of the country from these airports.
They have also quoted the routes on which they want to operate,” an official told TOI requesting anonymity.
The Jalgaon Airport is located around six km southeast of Jalgaon, a town located under Nashik subdivision. The airport is operated and managed by the Airports Authority of India.
The Kolhapur airport is located around 10km away from the city of Kolhapur and is also an AAI managed airport.
While the Solapur Airport is presently being developed by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC), the Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Airport at Nanded is managed by Reliance Airport Developers Private Limited. The Ozar Airport is presently managed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Earlier this week, the Union cabinet approved a plan under which Rs 4,500 crore will be spent on developing or upgrading a total of 50 such airports and airstrips. Apart from developing 15 airports this fiscal, 15 more would be developed and upgraded in 2018-19 and 20 in 2019-20. The airlines will provide the names of the airports where they are interested in starting operation, on the basis of which the facilities will be modernized.
Altogether 29 airports and airstrips from Maharashtra, including the Pune-based Hadapsar Gliding Centre, which belongs to the DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation), have been selected.