May 23, 2014

Yangon airport's upgrade approved

The government has given the greenlight to upgrade Yangon International Airport, to boost its annual capacity from 2.7 million passengers to 6 million.

According to the Department for Civil Aviation, the government's economic committee chaired by President Thein Sein recently approved the upgrade of Yangon International Airport. The economic committee is chaired by President Thein Sein and comprises ministers of 15 ministries.

"We have received the economic committee’s approval for the upgrade. As we have finalised details of the upgrade with a pre-selected contractor, the upgrade will soon begin," said Tin Naing Tun, Director General of the Department for Civil Aviation.

According to the upgrade plan, the local arrival/departure building of the airport will be demolished and a new building will be erected for completion in the next 18 months. Meanwhile, the airport's honourary hall will be used for the domestic terminal during the construction period.

The international arrival/departure building of the airport will remain unchanged.

The Pioneer Aerodrome Services, a subsidiary of Myanmar's conglomerate Asia World, was selected for the upgrade of the airport.

Yangon International Airport is one of the three international airports in Myanmar and is regarded as the major gateway to the country. As the country opens its door to the world, the airport has seen a dramatic increase in international arrivals.

International arrivals rose from 1.6 million tourists in 2009 to 3.08 million tourists in 2012, according to statistics from the aviation department.

The old terminal was used exclusively for domestic flights in 2011 while the new terminal – in operation since May 2007 – handles international flights. In the year, the international terminal handled 1.4 million passengers, while the domestic terminal handled nearly one million passengers.

To help ease the congestion at this airport, Myanmar is also planning to build a new international airport in Hantharwady which is expected to start operations in 2017. The Hantharwady International Airport in Bago is 80km from Yangon.

Source: Eleven Weekly Media