Tahlka News Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday flag off the first flight from Shimla to Delhi at the Shimla airport. Modi said dozens of new airports in the country will be connected by flights over the next one year under the regional connectivity UDAN scheme.
* He said about 70 such airports may come to life in the next one year.
* "Earlier aviation was considered to be the domain of a select few. That has changed now," Modi said, "The lives of the middle class are being transformed and their aspirations are increasing. Given the right chance, they can do wonders."
* While addressing the event Modi said currently, it takes 10 hours to reach Shimla from Delhi, which will be reduced to about an hour with Air India's new flight.
* The prime minister said he told the aviation ministry that he wants to see people who wear 'hawai chapal' in hawai yatra, when they sought his views to frame an aviation policy last year.
* "We had the opportunity to frame a civil aviation policy, which caters to aspirations of the people of India.Tier-II and Tier-III cities are becoming growth engines. If aviation connectivity is enhanced in these places, it will be beneficial.The aviation sector in India is filled with opportunities," he said.
* Udan is short for Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik, which loosely translates as "let the common man fly". The regional connectivity scheme is intended to connect small towns by air.
* Flights from Delhi will depart five times a week at 6.10am, while from Shimla, they will start at 7.45am.
Modi, who arrived in Indian Air Force helicopters, also addressed a rally in Shimla. Himachal Pradesh is set to go to polls soon. He also flagged off flights from Nanded, Maharashtra, and Kuddapa through video conferencing from Shimla.