Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said on Saturday that the Centre would soon launch a new route connecting Vellore under its flagship UDAN scheme.
473 new routes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme, which was launched by the Centre to improve air connectivity in Tier II and III cities.
“In terms of airports, Salem Airport is now operational (in Tamil Nadu). Vellore will be operational within the next few months. In Tamil Nadu, fourteen UDAN routes will be introduced.” He made the remarks shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the new integrated terminal building at Chennai Airport, which cost Rs 1,260 crore.
Scindia stated that the UDAN Yojana has benefited 1.20 crore people who could never have imagined flying.
The Union government launched the Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme as a programme to provide air connectivity in Tier II and Tier III cities.
Scindia described the new integrated building at the airport as a “testament” to a new era of civil aviation under Modi’s leadership.
“Civil aviation is changing, and our country’s passenger throughput has more than doubled in the last nine years to 14.5 crore per year across India.”Scindia
Scindia stated that air passenger throughput has also reached pre-Covid levels, with 4.55 lakh passengers travelling per day as opposed to 4.20 lakh passengers.
According to him, the government constructed an additional 74 new airports, heliports, and waterdomes for a total of 148 after the country only had 74 airports operating for 65 years after gaining independence.
“The Prime Minister is very clear in that regard. India must advance and rise. In the ensuing four to five years, we’ll construct more than 200 airports, waterdomes, and heliports.”
Scindia made reference to the disinvestment of Air India, which had placed the largest order in the annals of global civil aviation.
“With newfound growth, Chennai emerges as one of the country’s largest gateways and is India’s third largest airport with 43 domestic and 24 international connections,” he said.
The international terminal building would handle approximately 3 million passengers per year, up from 2.3 million previously. “In the next two years, Chennai airport will grow from 3 crore to 3.50 crore passengers,” he said.
According to him, the new terminal uses 60% renewable energy and has multi-modal connectivity, including a direct link to the Chennai metro.
Every airport is a gateway to India, and the country’s rich cultural heritage must be displayed, he said, with the new integrated terminal displaying 13 paintings of the largest temples in Tamil Nadu.
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