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Myanmar's largest int'l airport re-scheduled to open in 2020

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YANGON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's largest international airport project, the Hanthawaddy, will be put into service in 2020, one year later than targeted due to delay in the implementation process, official media reported on Thursday.

Myanmar is seeking 700 million U.S. dollars' Official Development Assistance loan with low interest rate from Japan for the Hanthawaddy International Airport project in Bago region. which is equivalent to 50 percent of the value of the project, according to the Department of Civil Aviation.

Moreover, the country is also getting other loan from some development banks for the contracted project awarded to a consortium comprising Yongnam and Changi Airport Planners and Engineering from Singapore and Japan's JGC Corporation.

The 1.4-billion-U.S. dollar project will be built on 3,645 hectares of land where the Japanese army built an airport during World War II.

About 77 kilometers north east of Yangon, the international airport, the country's fourth and largest of its kind, is projected to handle up to 12 million passengers a year and is set to become the primary gateway to Myanmar, drawing more foreign direct flights.

According to statistics, the number of tourist arrivals to Myanmar has increased year by year in the last few years, standing at 1.06 million in 2012, 2.04 million in 2013 and 3.05 million in 2014.

The contract to build the airport was originally won by South Korea's Incheon Airport Consortium. However, negotiation broke down in January this year after disagreement between Myanmar's civil aviation authority and the Incheon Group over certain aspects of the S. Korean proposals, prompting the government to reopen the tender in February.

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