Myanmar, Japan-linked consortium reach agreement on new airport plan


The Myanmar government and a consortium that includes Japanese engineering firm JGC Corp. has reached a broad agreement over a plan to construct a new airport on the outskirts of the country’s largest city, Yangon.

With the deal, the consortium, which also includes Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, came a step closer Saturday to receiving a formal order for the airport construction project and its estimated $1.5 billion price tag.

In October 2014, Myanmar granted preferential negotiating rights for the project to the consortium.

The Myanmar government plans to build the new Hanthawaddy international airport, which can handle up to 12 million passengers a year, in the Bago region, north of Yangon.

It hopes that about half of the total costs will be covered by the official development assistance from the Japanese government.

The new airport is set to become operational in 2022, four years later than the original plan.

Transportation systems linking the new airport with Yangon must also be constructed, prompting the Japan International Cooperation Agency to survey the situation to gauge whether it can offer help in this area through fresh ODA funds.

The new airport is intended to accommodate a surge in foreign visitors to Myanmar — one of Southeast Asia’s biggest attractions for foreign investors — as it makes the transition to democracy after years of junta rule.

Yangon International Airport, the country’s busiest, has far surpassed its annual capacity.