Regional Air Connectivity Scheme

Regional Air Connectivity Scheme

Nodal Agency:

  • The Central Government 
  • Airport Authority of India 

Aim:

  • To Make Regional Air Travel Affordable and Promote Balanced Growth. 
  • To promote tourism. 
  • Increase employment. 
  • Put life not only un-served airport but also under -served airports. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Aircrafts and helicopter operators would be required to assess the demand on various routes and submit their proposal for providing connectivity on such routes. 
  • Required to earmark a certain number of seats on every flight for the RCS (Regional Air Connectivity Scheme). fare for such seats would be capped based on flight distance and time. 

Features of RCS (Regional Air Connectivity Scheme)

  • Under these scheme, RCS route would have to include un-served airports. 
  • Routes would cover a length between 200 to 800 km, but this criterion would not apply to hilly areas, islands, North-east region and for helicopter operations. 
  • Procedure for selecting Airline Operators would be based on reverse bidding mechanism. 

Other Facts:

  • For fixed wing aircrafts and helicopters depending upon the distance, an index has been prepared for airfare caps for the RCS seats. 
  • Service tax will be levied at only 10% of the taxable value of tickets for RCS seats for a period of one year. 
  • Operating Airline will be free to enter into code sharing arrangement with domestic and international airlines. 
  • Airline Operators will exempt RCS flights from landing charges, parking charges, and terminal navigation landing charges. 
  • Selected airlines on their part would be expected to commit 50% of the seats on RCS flights to be sold at the specified airfare cap. 
  • Required to maintain a frequency of minimum, three flights per week and maximum of seven flights per week. 
  • Exit Mechanism for selected airlines would be made easy after a period of one year. 

Fund to subsidise the operation of the RCS is:

The Viability Gap Fund (VGF) 

  • Calculated on the normative basis. 
  • The fund support for respective routes would be indexed to inflation and ATF prices which would be reviewed periodically, also be linked to the passenger load factor.

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