Burma Calls for Partners to Upgrade Airports

A view of the main building at Yangon International Airport. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Burma’s Department of Civilian Aviation (DCA) is urging both foreign and local partners to invest in the country’s international airports, said Win Ko, the general manger of Yangon International Airport last week.

In particular, the DCA is seeking joint ventures to upgrade Rangoon and Mandalay’s international airports, as well as building a new terminal in Pegu, some 50 miles (80 km) north of Rangoon, to help cater for an expected increase in foreign tourist arrivals.

The international airport in Rangoon—the former capital now officially known as Yangon—urgently needs to be upgraded in terms of its ground service system and in its overall size, said Win Ko.

“We are calling for partners to support the financial costs of expanding the airport’s service system and increasing the size of building. Currently Yangon Airport is running with 21 immigrations counters and we need more,” he said. “We also need to add more terminals to save time and ease traffic.”

The DCA said it wants to complete the upgrading of Yangon International Airport by 2015, and build an international terminal at Pegu, also known as Bago, by 2016. Both projects require investors, it said.

Burma’s Ministry of Transportation called on Sept. 17 for a meeting of companies bidding to build Hanthawaddy International airport near Pegu, a project which was suspended back in 2004.

“Currently the selection process is underway and we have already received submissions from local and foreign companies,” said a DCA spokesperson.

Recently, several international airlines have announced their intention to launch or resume flights to Burma with tourist demand highest in Rangoon, Mandalay and the historical site of Bagan. Business travelers and diplomats will also ensure traffic to Burma’s new capital, Naypyidaw.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways joins the list of international companies that will resume flights to Burma. The airline said in a statement on Wednesday that it will relaunch its Doha – Rangoon route that had been suspended in January 2008. It said the thrice-weekly flights will resume this Friday.

Taiwan’s EVA Airways recently announced it will begin Rangoon – Bangkok- Taipei flights on Oct. 19, while Korean Air resumed flights in September. Japan’s ANA will resume its Tokyo – Rangoon flights in mid-October.

6 Responses to Burma Calls for Partners to Upgrade Airports

  1. Why doesn’t  DCA ask hep from Ex-S.G Than Shwe and family to invest in the Airport project ? They are one of the richest families in the country , aren’t they ? 

  2. Until 1962, Rangoon was a better place than any other cities in Southeast Asia. Because of horrible mismanagement and corruption, Rangoon became like dumping ground filled with uncollected trashes everywhere. Sewage system lacks maintenance and the smell is horrible. Public restrooms became unusable. Unelected Mayor and employees from municipal do not care to take care of the city as long as they bring home their salaries every month. Compare to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore and Hanoi, Rangoon is left behind in 20th Century. Bangkok has two huge airports while Rangoon has an airport which is not even worthy to be called “International Airport”. Now, the Thein Sein administration is dragging its feet so slow to institute real democratic government. Cronies are now laughing at us since they are the ones who enjoy Thein Sein’ reform. Thein Sein was the one who led the unelected personnel in drafting this awkward constitution to pave way for himself and for the generals to avoid prosecution. Now, we see no bright future as long as the undemocratic constitution is not amended. To make amendment is almost impossible since 25% of the seats in Hlutdaws is from military. Therefore, the Burmese way to Democracy or Thein Sein’s way of democracy is just monkey’s way to democracy. They might build huge Rangoon International Airport or renovate to expand the current one, it will not contribute much to the lives of the ordinary citizens. The foundation they laid for Democratic Myanmar is not concrete but the mud.  

    • I can’t agree more with you. Only the 1% which consists of military families are enjoying the winds of change but not the ordinary Burmese citizens. Is the world not understanding Burmese politics or the world sees as,  human rights are not as important as making money? Thein Sein government is not at all sincere and just playing games with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people those who want genuine changes . They have created the Rohingya problerm just to discredit Daw Aubg San Suu Kyi’s reputation and popularity.

  3. CNA Group Ltd, a SGX listed Singaporean MNC was in 2005 awarded a contract for the expansion of  Yangon International Airport. CNA was to design, supply, install and commission 24 engineering systems for the airport terminals. CNA was eventually blacklisted by US government due to this contract. CNA’s share price has since suffered.
    Although US recently announced to ease sanctions on Myanmar or partially lifting sanctions, but how soon the sanctions lift will take effect? How if the blacklisted company doesn’t make it through the sanctions lift? To invest in Myanmar especially eyes catching public infrastructure projects, I would say those small/medium cap company should think twice. I mean at least I won’t jump into this Hanthawaddy thingy. Of course unless your company hold too much cash balance and you just want to generate extra cash flow.

  4. Burmese people have no money to invest in airport. We got tax by your government illegally. In our whole life,we are struggling to migrate to other countries in order to escape from your Military murdering and human abuse. Where we get time to make money and get rich? 

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