Vande Bharat Mission consists of special repatriation flights operated by Indian carriers and chartered flights operated by both Indian and foreign carriers. As per information provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), till 31.08.2020, more than 11 lakh Indians (excluding land border crossings) have returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission. Country-wise and State-wise number of passengers returned are at Annexure A. (click here)
Ministry of Civil Aviation launched ‘Lifeline UDAN’ on 26.03.2020. Lifeline UDAN was an initiative to ensure a steady supply of essentials as well as medical supplies, PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), test kits etc. to all parts of the country. For this purpose, the Ministry facilitated establishing Lifeline UDAN mechanism to match the requirements/consignments of States /UTs/MoHFW (HLL & ICMR)/other Ministries with special flight plans.
Initially, the consignor State Govts./UTs/agencies were to incur the transportation cost for Lifeline UDAN flights. However, a contingency expenditure plan for excess expenditure upto a total amount of Rs.30 crore was approved for payments of Lifeline UDAN operations to be made by MoCA. As of 18.09.2020, an amount of Rs.18.95 crore has been reimbursed by MoCA to airlines/ground handling agencies for Lifeline UDAN flights. State-wise details of flights are at Annexure B. (click here)
Remotely Piloted Aircraft System
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, upto 31.08.2020, has granted conditional exemption to the following State Government agencies for Remotely Piloted Aircraft System:
i. Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd.
ii. Commissionerate of Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan
iii. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Education and Research, Government of Uttar Pradesh
iv. Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Government of Haryana
v.Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage (DPPQS), Faridabad
vi. Government Aviation Training Institute, Bhubaneswar
vii. Telangana State Aviation Academy, Hyderabad
This information was given in a written reply by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) Civil Aviation, in Lok Sabha today.