With Myanmar’s newly opened doors, tourism is on the rise and the aviation industry is expected to grow rapidly in conjunction, with an expected inflow of 4.5 million visitors. According to the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), to improve its underdeveloped air transport capacity and infrastructure, Myanmar is inviting private investors to upgrade 32 of its 69 domestic airports.
Of the country’s 69 airports Began-NyaungOo, Heho, Dawei, Putao, Monghsat, Kawthoung, Myikyina, Pathein; Myeik, Banmaw, Lashio, Bokpyin, Kalay, Magway, Mawlamyaing, Kani, Pakokku, Hpa-an, Homalin, Kyaukhtu, Ahnesakhan, Loikaw, Ann, Co Co Island, Monywa, Sittwe, Thandwe, Tachilek, Kengtung, and Kyaukpyu are the 32 airports specified for private sector use. The DCA plans to sign public-private partnership agreements with investors, which will let the agency continue to be responsible for airport security and air traffic control, but airport management and upgrades to infrastructure and technology will be taken over by the private sector.
In its first attempt to open the doors of investment to private companies, Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation has received interest from few domestic airlines such as Air KBZ, Air Bagan and Asia Wings.
Since it would take considerable investment to bring them up to the standard of airports in Yangon and Mandalay, it remains to be seen how proposals submitted by these domestic airlines would fare in the long run.