MANDALAY, 13 August 2014: Myanmar’s Civil Aviation Department says the government has recently approved a proposal to upgrade Mandalay International Airport.
The proposal has been submitted to the Myanmar Investment Commission for scrutiny.
The department general director, Win Swe Htun, said talks have been concluded between Mitsubishi-Jalux and its Myanmar partner, SPA Project Management, the consortium that won the tender, last year, to upgrade and operate the country’s second-largest airport.
“The airport in central Myanmar will be upgraded to become 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 link with Asia, Europe and the United States and the promotion of local airlines as well as an upgrade of infrastructure.
Currently, Yangon International Airport can handle 6 million passenger movements annually. A new airport international airport serving Yangon – Hanthawady International Airport – is in the pipeline with the final round of talks due soon on appointing a contractor.
The choice is between South Korean Incheon Airport Consortium or Singapore-based Yongnam, CAPE, JGC Consortium.
Mandalay’s airport is in dire need of a remake. During the recent Mekong Tourism Forum, held in Mandalay, a leading tour operator based in Bangkok sent a set of photos to the Minister of Tourism and Hotels that illustrated the “dreadful state of neglect at the airport.
The photos showed prominent areas of the airport that have never been greened with trees, terminal facilities broken and in need of restoration and a general untidiness and lack of maintenance. Photos showed toilets that were in filthy condition.
The tour operator passed the photos to the ministry privately without comment. The graphic illustration of broken down services and facilities needed no explanation, he said at the time.
But Mandalay’s airport is moving forward and is now linked with 12 major towns across the country and has seen a 20% growth in traffic annually over the past few years.
About 80,000 international visitors and 500,000 Myanmar nationals passed through the Mandalay 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.
Located 35 km south of Mandalay in Tada-U, Mandalay International Airport is one of the country only three international airports–Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw.
Completed in 1999, by Ital-Thai, the airport is the largest and most modern airport in the country, complete with 4,267-metre runway and capacity to handle up to 3 million passengers a year.
It is the main operating base of Golden Myanmar Airlines.
Mandalay Airport needs a remake