• Consultation time on draft RCS extended till July end

    Government today extended till July 31 the date for stakeholders to submit their suggestions and comments on the draft Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), a move which is likely to delay its implementation.

    All stakeholders, including airlines, state governments, among others, were earlier given time till today to send their suggestions and comments on the ambitious scheme, unveiled on July 1, which seeks to provide air connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of the country.

    “Draft Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) is placed in public domain for feedback from stakeholders … Date for sending the suggestion and comments in the prescribed format has been extended till July 31,” a Civil Aviation Ministry notification said.

    Mooted in the new civil aviation policy, RCS, which would target 90 aerodromes, was put up for consultations of stakeholders, including state governments, airlines and airport operators, on July 1 with a three weeks deadline.

    The draft was initially expected to be finalised by August.

    Under the proposed scheme, air ticket prices would be capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights on unserved and under-served routes.

    There are 394 unserved and 16 underserved airports in the country.

    As part of the RCS, the government plans to provide a Viability Gap Funding, which would be financed through the Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF).

    While releasing the draft scheme, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had said that RCF would be created for funding RCS “through levy on certain flights”.

    The Ministry would contribute 80 per cent of the VGF, while respective state governments would chip in with the remaining 20 per cent to the fund, which will have a corpus of Rs 500 crore each year. Jon Weeks Womens Jersey

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