DCA hopes to tie up Han­thawaddy air­port deal by the end of this year

The Myanmar Times - - Business - AYE NYEIN WIN ayenyein­win@mm­times.com

A FI­NAL con­ces­sion agree­ment be­tween the De­part­ment of Civil Avi­a­tion and a con­sor­tium build­ing a ma­jor new in­ter­na­tional air­port in Bago Re­gion known as Han­thawaddy In­ter­na­tional Air­port should be com­plete by the end of this year, ac­cord­ing to a DCA direc­tor.

Myan­mar has been try­ing to build the air­port for two decades, but de­lays have plagued the project, which is now slated for com­ple­tion by 2022.

“We are still dis­cussing the terms with the con­sor­tium and hope to sign a fi­nal agree­ment this De­cem­ber,” said DCA direc­tor U Hla Bone Zaw. “We have to set­tle dis­cus­sions about the project cost, the value of Of­fi­cial De­vel­op­ment As­sis­tance loans and the du­ra­tion of the con­tract.”

The first phase of the air­port project is es­ti­mated to cost US$1.5 bil­lion, he said.

Myan­mar of­fi­cials pre­vi­ously said they were in talks with the Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency to cover part of the con­struc­tion costs with de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance.

The con­sor­tium – JGC Cor­po­ra­tion, Yong­nam Hold­ings and Changi Air­ports In­ter­na­tional – won a ten­der to build and run the air­port in Oc­to­ber 2014 af­ter the orig­i­nal winner – a joint ven­ture headed by South Korea’s In­cheon In­ter­na­tional Air­port Cor­po­ra­tion – and the govern­ment fell out over de­tails in the project pro­posal.

The air­port is slated to be built on an old Sec­ond World War Ja­panese air­field of 9690 acres (3921 hectares) in Kyauk Taing Kan vil­lage in Bago Re­gion, around 77 kilo­me­tres (48 miles) north­east of Yan­gon.

“The new air­port is a lit­tle far from Yan­gon, so we plan to build a train to line, but we have not de­cided on the ex­act de­tails,” said U Hla Bone Zaw.

The project has been crit­i­cised be­cause of its dis­tance from Yan­gon and as the city al­ready has an in­ter­na­tional air­port, where two new ter­mi­nals un­der con­struc­tion will eas­ily be able to han­dle air pas­sen­ger traf­fic.

De­spite Han­thawaddy In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s dis­tance from the city, the con­sor­tium pre­dicts its project will serve as a hub that con­nects Myan­mar’s com­mer­cial cap­i­tal with the world.

“Once op­er­a­tional, the air­port will be­come the main in­ter­na­tional gate­way into Myan­mar, par­tic­u­larly the Yan­gon met­ro­pol­i­tan area,” it said in a press re­lease ear­lier this year.

JGC owns a con­trol­ling stake in the con­sor­tium with 55 per­cent. Changi Air­ports In­ter­na­tional holds 20pc while Yong­nam has a one-quar­ter share.

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