The Ministry of Civil Aviation decided to conduct a study to examine why regional airlines are not successful in India and what needs to be done to promote regional air connectivity, reports suggest.
For this purpose, the ministry may engage a consultancy firm which would examine these issues in-depth and recommend measures to improve regional connectivity.
The outcome of the study could form the basis of a draft policy framework on the matter, reports indicate.
The ministry would also examine ways to carry out restructuring of the Route Dispersal Guidelines (RDGs) which mandate Indian carriers to operate to socially important but financially unviable routes of the Northeast, Jammu & Kashmir and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Besides restructuring RDGs, the ministry was also contemplating asking airlines to buy smaller planes to operate flights to smaller cities with small runways.
But analysts feel such a decision should be left to the commercial consideration of the airlines themselves and not imposed on them.
While massive plans are on the anvil to create new airports and upgrade existing ones in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the 12th Plan period, the industry sources said that regional connectivity has not been a success, despite the existence of an official policy for regional aviation.