Second airport planned for Yangon

Yangon International Airport is experiencing a sharp rise in traffic
Yangon International Airport is experiencing a sharp rise in traffic

A second airport will be developed in Yangon, to help the city cope with an expected influx of visitors over the coming years.

The Myanmar Times reported the country’s Department of Civil Aviation as saying that it has selected South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) to develop the new Hanthawaddy International Airport, on the outskirts of Myanmar’s largest city. And according to a statement from the Korean Transport Ministry, the final contract for the US$1.1 billion project will be signed by the end of the year.

To be located approximately 80km from Yangon, Hanthawaddy airport will have an annual capacity of approximately 12 million passengers. Construction is expected to be completed by 2018.

The existing Yangon International Airport can now handle 2.7m passengers a year, but this is also being expanding, and is expected to increase to around six million by 2017.

Meanwhile, Singapore-based Yoma Strategic Holdings said on Monday that a consortium it formed with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and JALUX Inc has been selected to “upgrade and operate” Mandalay International Airport. The joint venture will design, construct, operate and maintain the facilities at Mandalay airport, which can currently handle up to three million passengers a year.

Since the country opened its borders to the outside world, Myanmar has welcomed an influx of international airlines, including Qatar Airways, Korean Air and ANA.  This helped Myanmar’s international visitor arrivals cross the one million mark for the first time in 2012, but Asia Development Bank has estimated that this total will more than double to 2.2m visitors by 2015, and then rise to five million by 2020.

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