YANGON (AFP) – A Singaporean-led group has won a $1.4 billion bid to build a second international airport in Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon, authorities said Wednesday, as the long-isolated nation gears up for a dramatic increase in foreign arrivals.
The winning consortium, which includes Singapore-based engineering and construction group Yongnam and a subsidiary of Singapore’s Changi airport, will build and run Hanthawaddy International on the outskirts of Yangon by December 2019, according to Myanmar’s civil aviation department.
Hanthawaddy International, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) northeast of downtown Yangon, is projected to handle around 12 million passengers a year – a huge leap from the 3.7 million arrivals at the existing Yangon International Airport last year.
“We intend it to become the primary gateway for transit routes and also for cargo,” Win Swe Tun, director general of Myanmar’s civil aviation department, told a press conference.
He said Hanthawaddy was at the centre of the country’s ambitions for a huge increase in passenger capacity as the country expects tourist numbers to continue to swell.
“We plan to extend (the airport) until it can handle 30 million passengers in the future,” he said.