Cargo services began from the Jollygrant airport in Dehradun on Wednesday, an official said. Bureau of civil aviation security had given its consent for starting cargo services from the airport recently.
Director of the airport DK Gautam, who inaugurated cargo services from the old terminal building, said it will give a boost to commercial activities in Uttarakhand and help in the transportation of local products to the market place in much less time. An Indigo airlines flight took the first cargo bookings, Gautam said.
Recently, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced that it plans to develop at least 100 airports, waterdromes and heliports by 2024 under the regional air connectivity scheme, according to an official release. The fourth anniversary of the scheme, also known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), was commemorated on Wednesday.
The scheme is aimed at providing affordable, economically viable and profitable air travel on regional routes. "50 unserved and underserved airports (including five heliports) with 285 routes have been added under UDAN across the length and breadth of India. As the implementing agency, AAI has an ambitious plan to develop at least 100 airports/ waterdromes/ heliports by 2024 under the scheme," the release said.
During a video conference to commemorate UDAN Day on Wednesday, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said stakeholders should work towards making the scheme sustainable on its own and improve its efficiency. He also urged airlines to undertake marketing initiatives so that more people can take benefit of the scheme, as per the release.
AAI Chairman Arvind Singh said the authority is committed to build the infrastructure required for the scheme across the country. Joint Secretary at the ministry Usha Padhee said the government has acknowledged the contribution of UDAN initiative and identified October 21 -- the day on which the UDAN document was first released -- as UDAN Day.
Senior officials from the ministry, AAI, regulator DGCA and airlines also joined the video conference.