Govt to hold tender for construction of Muse airport this year

Plans are being drawn out for the construction of an airport in Muse, which is a major hub for trade at the Myanmar-China border. A tender will be held this year, said U Ye Htut Aung, deputy director general of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

“We have presented this project to the minister’s office. We will announce the tender as soon as we receive permission. It is expected to happen this year. We are proposing to build it as a domestic airport,” said U Ye Htut Aung.

The new Muse airport will be constructed under a Public-Private Partnership. The size and capacity of the airport have yet to be confirmed and will depend on the size of land available, the DCA said.

Six private companies have already been selected to participate in the tender after an invitation to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) was called in 2017.

“The Yangon- Muse route has always been a popular one. If a domestic airport is constructed in Muse, it will make travelling much more convenient for traders who have business dealings with the Chinese. It will also improve the tourism industries of Myanmar and China,” said U Chan Thar Oo, a Muse-based businessman.

Currently, travelers from Yangon must first fly to Lashio, which is a five-hour drive away from Muse. As such, direct flights from Yangon to Muse are expected to facilitate business and trade between Myanmar and China.

Muse is now the largest hub for border trade between Myanmar and China. Currently, there are also arrangements between the Chinese Tourism Authority and local authorities to allow Chinese visitors to enter Myanmar via the Muse gate.

“At present China is quite interested in cross-border tours. When Muse airport is implemented, it would be likely to run Muse-Mandalay flights and tourism is expected to improve for both countries,” said U Toe Aung, a travel agent.

There are 31 domestic airports and three international airports in Myanmar but only 24 airports have the capacity to handle commercial aircraft, according to the DCA.

Major renovation to airport facilities and extension of runways were carried out for the ten domestic airports including Myitkyina, Heho, Thandwe, Loikaw and Nyaung-U airports, which have received the highest numbers of visitors over the third year of the government, according to a statement released by Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Source: Myanmar Times

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