Udan 4.0 opens 30 airports/airstrips, water aerodromes for bidding

The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has invited bids for 6 underserved and 24 unserved airports/airstrips in the North-East states under the UDAN 4.0 scheme, said a government statement. The ministry has also recognised one water aerodrome location in the region that is up for bidding. 

The fourth round of bidding for airports under the Udan air connectivity scheme will also throw open three unserved airports in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and one airport in Lakshadweep for bidding by private investors.
Besides the four airports, the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has recognised 4 water aerodrome locations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and 2 in Lakshadweep that are up for bidding. 
The aim is to provide aerial connectivity to the region. The move will not only boost tourism but will also transform the economic situation of the region. Under the UDAN 4.0 scheme, MoCA is also providing additional Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of around 25 per cent to the airlines.
Underserved airports / airstrips up for bidding (mainland):
1. Arunachal Pradesh – Passighat and Tezu
2. Assam – Jorhat, Rupsi, Tezpur
3. Meghalaya –Shillong
Water Aerodrome up for bidding: 
Assam - Umrangso Reservoir
Airports available for bidding in Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep:
Campbell Bay - Andaman and Nicobar (UT)
Car Nicobar - Andaman and Nicobar    (UT)
Shibpur - Andaman and Nicobar          (UT)
Underserved airports / airstrips up for bidding:
Agatti - Lakshadweep Island              
Water Aerodromes up for bidding:
Hutbay - Andaman and Nicobar (Unserved)
Long Island - Andaman & Nicobar (Underserved)
Neil Island - Andaman & Nicobar (Underserved)
Havelock - Andaman & Nicobar (Underserved)
Minicoy – Lakshadweep (Unserved)
Kavaratti - Lakshadweep (Unserved)
The ministry of civil aviation will bear 90 per cent of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) and the remaining 10 per cent by North East state governments. Only excise duty at the rate of 2 per cent   shall be levied on aviation turbine fuel (ATF), drawn by selected airline operators at RCS airport(s) for RCS flights, for three years from the date of notification, according to the statement.
VAT on ATF will be reduced to 1 per cent or less at RCS concession airports located within the state for a period of ten years from the date of notification.
Provision of minimum land, if required, free of cost and free from all encumbrances for development of RCS concession airports and also provide multi-modal hinterland connectivity (road, rail, metro, waterways, etc) as required.
RCS concession airports will have provision for security and fire services free of cost besides provision of, directly or through appropriate means, electricity, water and other utility services at substantially concessional rates.
VGF cap has been enhanced in Udan 4.0 for operations of RCS flights in priority area(s) (ie, union territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir; the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, North Eastern States; UT of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar). The VGF cap applicable for various stage lengths for operation has been enhanced (below 20 seater) small aircraft under the scheme.
VGF will be provided for RCS flights for a period of three years from the date of commencement of RCS flight operations.
State governments, at their discretion, may consider extending any additional support (such as marketing support) for the promotion of RCS flights.
Concessions for airport/water aerodrome/helipad operators:
Airport / Water Aerodrome / Helipad operators shall not levy landing charges and parking charges or any other charges on RCS flights, including ASF / UDF charges among others.
Selected airline operators shall be allowed to undertake ground handling for their RCS flights. AAI shall not levy any Terminal Navigation Landing Charges (TNLC) on RCS flights.
Route Navigation and Facilitation Charges (RNFC) will be levied by AAI on a discounted basis @42.50 percent of normal rates on RCS flights.
The ministry aims to operationalise 1,000 routes and more than 100 airports in the next five years. This would be achieved by focusing on operationalising routes in priority areas. 
AAI would focus on developing the no-frills airport in the future and routes connecting such airports would be prioritised for the award of VGF. The market would be incentivised to develop short-haul routes only, providing connectivity to nearby airports.
The route connecting `Cochin–Agatti’ is currently operated by Alliance Air. In order to promote the route Cochin-Agatti-Cochin further, the ministry of home affairs intends to allow more airlines to operate this route. 
Accordingly, as an exception to the scheme, the Cochin-Agatti route has been incorporated under the current version of the Udan scheme to provide additional connectivity to the island region.