Government reveals plan to expand Yangon International Airport
June 20 - 26, 2011
THE capacity of Yangon International Airport is set to increase by 40 percent under an expansion plan revealed in state media last week.
State-run daily newspaper New Light of Myanmar reported on June 12 that the government planned to increase the capacity from 2.7 million passengers a year to 3.8 million. No timeframe was given for upgrading the international terminal, which opened only four years ago.
Vice President Thiha Thura U Tin Aung Myint Oo said on a June 11 visit to the airport that the airport currently handles approximately two million passengers annually.
“[The airport] will reach its highest capacity before long … so it is needed to extend and upgrade Yangon International Airport into an international advanced one that will be able to handle 3.8 million passengers a year in addition to upgrading domestic airlines,” the vice president said.
Yangon International Airport’s main terminal opened in May 2007, and was built by Asia World, which now handles ground services at the airport.
Thirteen airlines operate international flights from Yangon.
A spokesperson for the Department of Civil Aviation said it was unable to comment because the plan for the expansion had not yet been finalised.
However, the plan was welcomed by aviation industry stakeholders. Malaysian Airlines area manager Mr Azman Francis said the upgrade should include adding more queue lines, such as at immigration, to speed up the boarding process.
“I welcome the expansion of the airport and hope that it makes it more convenient for our passengers as well as other travellers,” he said.
An employee from an international airline that flies to Yangon said the airport needed more parking space for aircraft from both domestic and international airlines.
“In peak season there’s a lack of parking space for all the planes,” he said. “I don’t think the airport is at capacity yet in terms of passengers but changes could be made to improve passenger flow.”