Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, on Monday (December 4, 2023) informed Parliament that Haryana government owned Hisar airport was identified for development and operation of flights under Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme.
The city was connected by air with Chandigarh 4 January 2021 by Air Taxi which had a three-seater aircraft while the second and third routes connecting Dharamshala and Dehradun respectively started on 8 February the same year. A total of 182 RCS flights were operated connecting Hisar airport from February 2021 to August 2021.
While giving the reply, Scindia also pointed out that Hisar airport was identified for development in the second round of bidding under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme. However, a few months later Air Taxi discontinued the flights from 1 August 2021 due to operational reasons.
The information was given in reply to a question asked by Haryana Rajya Sabha MP Kartikeya Sharma. He had asked the minister details about the number of airports under UDAN scheme opened in Haryana; the amount of Viability Gap Funding provided to these airports till date; the new airports proposed under the scheme for Haryana; the proposed date of operationalising Ambala airport along with details of scheduled/unscheduled flights planned and cities proposed to be connected initially with Ambala Airport; and the domestic air traffic from Haryana during the last three years including 2023, year-wise and airport-wise.
The minister also revealed that an amount of Rs 66,21,669 towards Viability Gap Funding (VGF) was disbursed to the selected airline operator for operation of the RCS flights. An amount of Rs 37.81 crore has already been spent on the development of Hisar airport under the Revival/Upgradation of Airports/heliports/water aerodromes.
In response to another question, Scindia stated that during the third round of bidding, Ambala airport owned by the Indian Air Force (IAF) was identified to operate RCS flights. Under UDAN 4.2 round of bidding, RCS routes Ambala-Srinagar-Ambala was awarded to FlyBig for operation of RCS flights with 19-seater aircraft. An amount of Rs 25 crore has been sanctioned for development work of Civil Enclave at Ambala Airport, which is being undertaken by the Haryana government.