No open tender for Nyaung-U airport upgrade

The Nyaung-U airport in Mandalay Region will be upgraded into international airport soon, with the support from the Japanese government, U Ye Htut Aung, deputy director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) told The Myanmar Times on August 28.
The airport is near the tourist destination Bagan in the Southwest of Mandalay Region.

“We roughly agreed in the discussion with the Japanese government because the Japanese embassy in Yangon officially offered the Department of Civil Aviation to upgrade the Nyaung-U airport into an international airport last month,” he said.

Currently, the Japanese government and the DCA are in negotiations concerning the upgrading of Nyaung-U airport. Then, the two sides will submit to the Myanmar government through the Ministry of Transport and Communications after securing an agreement, he said.

“We will set up the date to implement the airport upgrading, depending on the permission from the Myanmar government.

“The company from Japan will be chosen by the Japanese government and the DCA,” U Ye Htut Aung said.

According to the “two ancient cities, one destination” plan to promote the two ancient cities, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Bagan in Myanmar, the tourism ministries from both countries are pushing Nyaung-U airport to accept at least regional flights.

However, this airport upgrading process will not be finished in time to carry out the “two ancient cities, one destination” plan. However, it accommodate land regional flights when there are customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities in place, he said.

“It can operate with this existing infrastructure even before the upgrade.

“But we need to know the specific airlines which will fly to and from Nyaung-U airport when they start the ‘two ancient cities, one destination’ project,” U Ye Htut Aung said.

Currently, the DCA is inviting interested domestic companies to form consortiums with foreign businesses and to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for three domestic airports, namely Heho, Kawthaung and Mawlamyine, according to an announcement released by the state-owned media, Global New Light of Myanmar on August 28.

“We intended to upgrade those airports for them to become major domestic airports because it would be too costly to change them into international airports.

“We will make a decision depending on the airport structure, which one needs to extend its runway or the airport buildings. We will decide upon receiving their proposals,” he said.

Source : Myanmar Times

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