New Delhi: Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia along with Ministry of Civil Aviation’s (MoCA) Secretary Rajiv Bansal, Joint Secretary Usha Padhee and Alliance Air’s CEO Vineet Sood virtually inaugurated the greenfield Sindhudurg airport in Maharashtra. They also flagged off the first flight from Sindhudurg to Mumbai under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme - Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme of the government. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thakeray graced the event virtually from Sindhudurg airport as the Guest of Honor.
Jyotiraditya in his address said “The inauguration of the Sindhudurg airport and start of the flight to Mumbai marks a new chapter in the glorious history of the Konkan region. This development will open new avenues of growth of local trade and tourism. I am sure, with huge potential of the region, the number of daily flights will increase to 20-25 within next five years.”
The day is a momentous day for the people of Maharashtra as the inauguration pins the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra on the national air map. These new flights will further add convenience and comfort to travellers creating a gateway for the people to easily access the Konkan region noted for its pristine beaches, temples, and forts. These new flights will facilitate people of Sindhudurg not only in their travel to Mumbai but also opens the horizon of additional connectivity with other metro cities directly connected with Mumbai such as Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad. Moreover, the Sindhudurg airport is a good option for people travelling to North Goa.
Sindhudurg Airport also known as Chipi Airport is in the Sindhudurg District of Maharashtra. The airport is spread over 275 hectares area. The runway length is 2500 meters (8202 ft.) and is capable of the operation of narrow-body aircraft like Airbus A-320 and Boeing B-737. The airport Terminal Building has the capacity to handle 200 departings and 200 arriving passengers during peak hours.
The inauguration marked the commencement of the 61st airport under the UDAN scheme and successful operationalization of the 381 routes under UDAN. Now people can fly at ease by opting for a flight of 85 mins from Sindhudurg to Mumbai while earlier they were forced to opt for a road or train travel of more than 10 hours between these two cities.
The airline Alliance Air was awarded the Sindhudurg – Mumbai route under the UDAN 3.1. This is the 75th UDAN route operationalized by the airline. Alliance Air will deploy its 70-seater ATR 72-600 aircraft on the route.
The financial incentives in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is being provided by the Centre, State governments and airport operators to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports under the scheme.
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