The government opened Nay Pyi Taw International Airport last week, more than four years after construction work began in April 2007.
The country’s third international airport after Yangon and Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw airport boasts a 3.6 kilometre runway and is capable of handling up to 65,000 flights a year, or about five million passengers.
It was opened on December 19 to coincide with the two-day day Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit, which brought together leaders and senior officials from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The airport was developed by Asia World with technical assistance from Singapore engineering firm CPG Consultants. The cost of the project was not disclosed.
A spokesperson from the Department of Civil Aviation said last week that attention would now turn to expanding Yangon International Airport, which can currently handle 2.7 million passengers a year.
The spokesperson said the airport’s capacity would increase by about 40 percent, to 3.8 million passengers, when the expansion project is completed in late 2012 or early 2013.
Myanmar’s other international airport is in Mandalay. It has a 4267 metre (14,000 foot) runway and can handle up to three million passengers a year but currently only attracts regular international flights from Kunming in China.
The large increase in passenger numbers at Yangon International Airport has prompted the government to consider reviving the mothballed Hantharwaddy airport project near Bago, which has been on hold for more than a decade.