Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will soon join the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme of the Centre for improving regional air connectivity. As a prelude, it has constituted a high-level monitoring-cum-coordination committee.
Government sources said that a formal decision on joining the scheme would be taken by the Cabinet soon.
The state-level panel headed by the additional chief secretary (revenue), P. H. Kurian, would be identifying the routes that are now remaining unserved or underserved.
Transport secretary K. R. Jyothilal is the nodal officer, and the committee has representatives from various departments, airlines, airports and oil companies.
According to government sources, once Cabinet decides to join the scheme, the state will have to sign an agreement with the Centre. The project comprises various aspects like offering a reduction in tax on aviation turbine fuel and waiver of airport charges.
The fares will be capped at Rs 2,500 for a one-hour flight, and the airlines would also be offered viability gap funding.
“Many airlines are ready to operate in sectors like Mysore, Madurai and Coimbatore from here using small aircraft of 20 to 40 seats, provided we offer sops. Such proposals would get an impetus once state joins UDAN,” a state government official told DC.
The 18-member state level monitoring-cum-coordination committee will be meeting on first Monday of every month. It will be responsible for monitoring schemes for promotion of regional connectivity by way of the revival of unserved and underserved airports in the state as well as UDAN scheme. The committee will also have to ensure time-bound implementation....