Construction and initial feasibility studies of the Hanthawaddy Airport in Bago have commenced in August, the Department of Civil Aviation said.
The first phase of the new airport, a joint venture between Myanmar and Japan, is slated to be complete in 2027 with help from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JICA will now conduct an environmental impact assessment and the draft report will be submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in October.
Located around 80km from Yangon, the new airport will cost between US$1.5 billion and US$2 billion to develop and will be implemented across 9,000 acres of state-owned land in Bago Region. When complete, it will be the biggest airport in Myanmar.
The Hanthawaddy Airport was first initiated in the early 1990s, but has had difficulties securing the finances needed to take off.
A tender for the project, to be implemented under a Public Private Partnership, was conducted in 2012. A South Korean consortium led by Incheon International Airport Corporation won the tender but disagreements led to a fresh tender being called in 2014. This was subsequently won by a Japanese-Singaporean consortium that included Changi Airports International. The agreement expired in 2018 with construction yet to commence.
The Hanthawaddy Airport is expected to replace the Yangon International Airport, which government officials said will reach full passenger capacity by 2020, based on the passenger growth rate before COVID-19.
The new airport will also bring additional tourists and cargo which will help to boost the economy and trade. It will also drive investments in new road construction, water and power distribution and infrastructure such as waste water treatment plants, according to the Department of Civil Aviation. – Translated