Location for New Muse Airport to be Confirmed Before Fiscal Year-End

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) is hoping to confirm the location for a new airport in Muse before the end of this fiscal year, Deputy Director General U Ye Htut Aung told The Myanmar Times on November 6.

Muse is Myanmar’s largest border trading post and where most of the country’s border trade with China takes place.

‘’We cannot start construction until a location is chosen. Then, we can implement the construction plan. But we will still need to negotiate with both the government and private sector on the schedule and process to build the airport, which will be developed under Public Private Partnership (PPP),” he said.

The plan to build an airport in Muse coincides with falling trade levels at the border gate in the first six months of the current fiscal year. During the period, border trade between Myanmar and China fell by $191 million, which is the most across Myanmar’s 16 border gates.

But U Ye Htut Aung said the purpose of the airport is to develop the tourism sector and carry out the government’s transportation strategy to connect the country’s states and regions. “It is not related too much with falling trade in Muse this year,” he said, pointing out that falling trade is because of a decrease in demand for goods traded cross-border and less related to tourism.

Construction of the airport will take about five years once the location is confirmed. “By March, or before the end of this fiscal year, we are hoping to confirm the exact location for Muse airport. For the subsequent tender program, any local company or joint venture companies can apply,” said U Ye Htut Aung.

“Once the government approves the location, we will continue with a feasibility study and call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector to take part in the tender process,” he said.

Once approved, Muse airport will the fourth airport to undergo construction works this year. In September, the DCA invited EOIs from the private sector for construction and upgrading works at Heho, Kaungthaung and Mawlamyine airports.

“We do not know how many people Muse airport can serve yet, it depends on the airport design and runway. We hope, at least, that airlines will be able to land ATR aircraft at the new Muse airport, U Ye Htut Aung said.

During a Pyithu Hluttaw session on October 25, U Kyaw Myo, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, said a land plot six miles southeast of Muse had been chosen for building the airport.

According to aerial restrictions, only one lane will be constructed for arrivals and departures, he said. The area was earmarked for its proximity to the Lashio-Muse Road and cheaper land price.


Source: The Myanmar Times

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