Union Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel Jyotiraditya M. Scindia virtually inaugurated a UDAN flight connecting Dehradun and Pithoragarh from New Delhi on Tuesday. Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami joined the event online from Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand.
The flight connecting the two cities is to be operated by ‘Fly Big’ under the RCS UDAN scheme. The Pithoragarh airport has been developed under the UDAN-RCS scheme, with a cost of Rs 6.68 crore into a 2B VFR Airport. The RCS flight between Dehradun and Pithoragarh was awarded under UDAN 4.2. Fly Big will be operating a 19-seater Twinotter DHC6-400 aircraft for ferrying the passengers. The flight will operate initially three days a week — Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
The operation of this new route will enhance regional connectivity and promote trade, commerce, and tourism between these cities, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.
Scindia said, “As a result of its commencement, the road distance of about 11 hours will be covered in just 1 hour. This flight service will expand the tourism potential of Pithoragarh and neighbouring areas and connect the eastern regions of Uttarakhand to the capital city of Dehradun.
Elaborating on the work being done under the UDAN scheme, he said that the development of Dharchula, Haridwar, Joshimath, Mussoorie, Nainital, and Ramnagar heliports is underway.
On other infrastructure development carried out under the UDAN scheme, Scindia said, “We have also identified 5 other heliports under UDAN 5.1 Round, which include Bageshwar, Champawat, Lansdowne, Munsiyari and Triyogi Narayan Heliports. Soon development work will be started on these 5 other heliports as well.”
76 routes awarded in Uttarakhand under UDAN
Uttarakhand has been at the forefront in the implementation of the UDAN scheme. Elaborating on the same, Scindia said, “So far, 76 routes have been awarded for the state of Uttarakhand under UDAN, out of which 40 routes including Dehradun-Pithoragarh have been operationalized. It is our endeavor that the remaining other routes will also be made operational soon. Apart from this, we had recently inaugurated the interim terminal building of Dehradun, the work of the full-fledged building will be completed soon.”
Talking about the development work at Dehradun airport, Scindia said, “Developed at a cost of Rs 457 crore, the total area of the new terminal building is 42,776 square meters and this terminal building can handle 1,800 passengers in peak hours and 36.5 lakh passengers annually.” Elaborating on the impact of infrastructure development, he said that in 2014, only 86 flights were being operated from here per week, today 210 flights are being operated now, an increase of 144%.”
Air services operated from 4 airports and heliports in Uttarakhand
Elaborating on the comprehensive air connectivity Scindia said, “In 2014, air services were being operated only from Dehradun Airport, whereas today air services are being operated from 4 airports and heliports of Uttarakhand and in the coming time, it is expected that this number will increase to 15.”