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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   15 August 2013  

Myanmar to build largest international airport

Myanmar is set to build a new international airport in central Bago region, which is nine times larger than the existing Yangon International Airport, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) U Win Swe Tun told Xinhua in an exclusive interview Tuesday.

South Korean Incheon Airport Consortium (IAC), which is among seven prequalified foreign tenderers from Singapore, Japan, France and South Korea, won the tender for building the Hanthawaddy International Airport on Aug. 10 and contract will be signed in two months, he said.

The IAC aims to complete the construction by the end of 2017 and start operating by the beginning of 2018, he disclosed,

The Hanthawaddy International Airport is estimated to cost about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars and able to handle 12 million passengers per year, he said.

The Hanthawaddy International Airport, 80 kilometers north of Yangon, covers an area of 3,912 hectares and will be the fourth and the largest of its kind in Myanmar after that of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.

U Win Swe Tun added that the Hanthawaddy International Airport will become the primary gateway to Myanmar and in the future all international operators will be shifted to the Hanthawaddy International Airport, leaving Yangon International Airport to handle domestic flights and general aviation services.

He expected the Hanthawaddy International Airport to draw more foreign direct flights to Myanmar and increase tourist arrivals.

Moreover, a consortium led by Pioneer Aerodrme Services Co Ltd of Myanmar, comprising companies from China, Singapore and Malaysia, won the tender for upgrading Yangon International Airport, while a consortium led by Mitsubishi-Jalux Inc of Japan comprising SPA Project Management Ltd of Myanmar, won the tender for Mandalay International Airport development project.

The Yangon International Airport, which is now handling 2.7 million passengers per year, can accommodate up to 6 million passengers after upgrade at cost of 150-170 million U.S. dollars, U Win Swe Tun told Xinhua.  

The Mandalay International Airport development program covers airport master plan, passenger terminal operation, ground handling, catering, cargo facilities and services, maintenance services for pavement, visual aid, electrical system and navigational aid.

At cost of 100 million U.S. dolalrs, the Mandalay International Airport is to be transformed into logistic hub aimed at creating direct transportation of goods to and from other countries in Asia and Europe.  

Meanwhile, Myanmar is also carrying out a plan of privatization of all domestic airport management businesses to promote the civil aviation industry.

Besides the three existing international airports -- Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, there are 30 regional airports in Myanmar.

Among eight domestic airlines in operation in Myanmar, the Myanmar Airways is state-owned, while the rest are private-run.

Foreign airlines with flights to Myanmar total 22.

Official figures show that 2 million foreign tourists visited Myanmar in 2012, while 3.5 million domestic air passengers were recorded in the year. 

Written by Xinhua

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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