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Aviation Industry expects Budget to provide thrust to UDAN, help more airports

Along with the increase in air traffic, etire country has witnessed growth in the aviation infrastructure especially in terms of more routes and development of airports. Keeping in view the past growth in the air traffic, Industry expects that the upcoming Budget will give wings to the aviation sector.

The ambitious regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) is one such scheme of the government and it is going to add more feathers to its cap in the coming time. While 453 routes have already been started under the scheme connecting cities across country and operationalising 70 airports, more routes and airports will be added to the list with the rising demand in affordable air travel.

The UDAN scheme is applicable for a period of 10 years from the date of its notification. The government has set a target to operationalize 1,000 UDAN routes during the currency of the scheme and to revive and develop 100 unserved and underserved airports, heliports, water aerodromes by 2024.

Suprio Banerjee, Vice President & Sector Head -Corporate Ratings, ICRA Limited, said, “Focus on continuing improvement in regional connectivity through regional connectivity scheme (RC5) has been an ongoing focus of the government and we expect that to continue. Improving existing infrastructure and capacity at some key airports besides setting up newer airports has also been the need of the hour. Further, connectivity with the under-served/unserved airports to boost tourism needs improvement.”

The total number of airports has nearly doubled from 74 in 2014 to over 141 in 2022. Keeping in view the growth in the aviation traffic, the government has accorded in-principle approval for setting up 21 Greenfield Airports across tire country.

Tire Ministry of Civil Aviation received air allocation of Rs 10,667 crore in the last Budget and Industry expects that the upcoming Budget will adequately address the demand of the aviation sector.

The industry also needs favourable measures in terms of taxation, with one of the recurring demands from the industry players being rationalisation of duties on ATF and/or bringing it under the purview of the goods and services tax (GST). (Source: The Political & Business Daily)

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