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NEWS Last modified on December 20, 2011

Myanmar opens new international airport

A third international airport capable of handling up to 3.5mppa has opened in Myanmar, in the country’s new capital of Naypyitaw.

Located 16km south of the capital, Naypyitaw International Airport officially started operations yesterday (Monday December 19), and is said to be capable of handling up to 3.5 passengers and 65,000 flights per year.

The gateway will be Burma's third international facility after the international airports in Mandalay and the commercial capital Yangon.

The airport was designed by Singapore engineering firm CPG Consultants Pte – who previously designed the annex to Yangon International Airport, as well as Singapore's Changi Airport and several other airports in Vietnam and Laos – and was built by local Burmese construction company Asia World.

Meanwhile, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, the project involved nearly $200 million in financial aid from the China Export-Import Bank as well as the supply of construction equipment from the China Machinery Engineering Corporation and China Harbour Engineering Company.

The airport was opened to coincide with the staging in the city today (Tuesday December 20), of the fourth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion, made up of Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China.

Construction began in April 2007, two years after the then military government announced it was switching the capital from Yangon to Naypyitaw.

According to the Transport Ministry, the airport has a 3.6 km runway, a 69m high control tower, 10 passenger boarding bridges and can take 50,000 to 65,000 flights annually.

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