Indian Air Force permits Hindon air base for regional connectivity: Secretary, Civil Aviation

New Delhi: Indian Air Force has allowed Hindon air force base to be used for regional connectivity in winter, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mr. R. N. Chaubey said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

He further said that Indian Air Force has gone out of its way to cooperate with us and to make it available, said Mr. R. N. Chaubey said while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM 10th International Conference-cum-Awards on Civil Aviation, Cargo & Tourism here at New Delhi.

Mr Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Union Minister for Civil Aviation said India’s civil aviation has gone up to number 4 from number 10, three years back in global ranking and we aspire to become number 1, said the minister addressing the ASSOCHAM 10th civil aviation conference.

Civil Aviation Secretary said, Indigo and Spicejet have ordered 50 each aircraft. After availability of these 100 aircraft, we can add another 300 destinations over next 3-4 years under the regional connectivity scheme. Talking of UDAAN-II, Mr Choubey said we are going to give subsidy to absorb more of the fixed costs.

Mr. Choubey further said that the main change is priority area- hilly states like J&K and Andaman and Nicobar. He said the Udaan II is going to be very significant. Due to slot constraints, Mumbai airport will not be offered for regional connectivity under Udaan II.

Emphasising the Udaan scheme has spurred development of ground infrastructure; Mr Choubey said while just 75 airports were built in 70 years after independence, as many as 33 airports were added in one year to March 2017.

‘We have to take GMR on board and we are reasonably confident that we will be in a position to sort out the contract related issues with GMR as far as Hindon is concerned. We have some slot constraints for the smaller aircraft which are flying under the regional connectivity scale because smaller aircrafts are also slower aircraft and therefore they take much longer time than the larger aircraft’.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event, secretary said that Mumbai airport is going to come and the process has already been taken to significant level by government of Maharashtra.

‘Talking to Indian air force about the other air forces bases for RSC flights, he said it depends on the airline as they have to express interest then we will take up the matter with the defence’.

On the development of the Jewar airport, we found that regional connectivity second bidding round; we expect significant demand for slots from Delhi and recognise that it may be difficult for Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to provide all those slots for regional connectivity at Delhi airports.

The civil aviation ministry is in dialogue with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) for inclusion in Udaan II, slots will be available at Hindon airbase if not at Delhi airport. Pre-bid conference for Udaan-II is on September 5, said Mr. Choubey.

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