Govt approves bid to upgrade Mandalay Airport

A proposal to upgrade Mandalay International Airport has been approved by the government and submitted to the Myanmar Investment Commission, said Win Swe Htun, director general of the Civil Aviation Department.

The department has concluded formal talks between Mitsubishi-Jalux and its Myanmar partner SPA Project Management, the consortium that last year won the tender to upgrade and operate the country’s second-largest airport.

The airport in central Myanmar is to be upgraded into a logistics hub. The move is part of a masterplan developed by the Ministry of Transport that aims to re-establish Myanmar as a major aviation and logistic hub in Asia. The plan calls for the liberalisation of economic regulations, the strengthening of air linkages to and from other parts of Asia, Europe and the United States, the promotion of local airlines and upgrading of infrastructure.

Currently, Yangon International Airport can handle 6 million travellers annually. A new airport international airport serving Yangon – Hanthawady International Airport – is also planned. A Korean contractor won the tender to build the airport, but subsequently backed out of the project.

Routes connecting Mandalay to 12 major cities across the country now operated from the airport, which has been seeing about 20 per cent growth in traffic annually over the past few years. About 80,000 international visitors and 500,000 Myanmar nationals passed through the airport in 2012.

The Mitsubishi-Jalux consortium was selected from seven short-listed firms in the final round of the tender. SPA Project Management is a subsidiary of Yoma Strategic Holdings.


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