Myanmar has planned to start implementation of a new international airport project in September in a bid to cope with expected future flood of world tourists following the country's embarkation on a path of reform.
The Hanthawady International Airport project lies in Myanmar's central Bago region covering an area of 9,690 acres (3,924 hectares) .
The project, which costs 1 billion US dollars, is set to complete in December 2017.
A total of seven pre-qualified firms in terms of financial strength, experience record, skilled personnel and strong equipment resources for tendering the Hanthawaddy International Airport project have been selected out of 30 companies showing their intention of investment, according to the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
After their pre-qualification bid, these firms are to submit formal tenders for the project which will be implemented through public-private partnership (PPP), joint venture or build-operate- transfer (BOT) system in accordance with Myanmar's Foreign Investment Law, said the DCA.
However, only four companies -- Incheon Airport Consortium, Yongram-CAPE-JGC Consortium, Vinci Airport and Taisei Corporation - - submitted their proposals for the contract, it was reported.
According to the DCA, selection for the winner will be finalized in July to be able to start the project.
The airport will be so designed as to accommodate Airbus A-380 and cargo plane and handle 12 million passengers per year, expandable for arrival of 35 million passengers per year.
While Hanthawady International Airport is under construction, Yangon International Airport will be upgraded into a facility with the capacity for 6 million passengers per year, up from 2.7 million passengers per year now.
The Yangon International Airport, built on over 1000 acres (405 hectares) saw nearly 500,000 visitors in 2012 which are expected to reach 6 million in 2017.
With a surge in arrivals of tourists along with development of the country, implementation of Hanthawady International Airport project is in progress.
In fact, Myanmar's Ministry of Transport allowed construction of the Hanthawady International Airport in 1996 and it was corner- stoned.
A Malaysia-based company failed then to implement the project due to various reasons.
The prospective Hanthawaddy International Airport will be the fourth of its kind in Myanmar after that of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is also carrying out a plan of privatization of all domestic airport management businesses to promote the civil aviation industry.
Besides the three existing international airports -- Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, there are also 29 regional airports in Myanmar.
There is a total of 24 international airlines flying Myanmar and seven airlines operating domestically.