The Myanmar government has set to transfer ownership of 30 domestic airports to the private sector in April, 2014, General Director of the Civil Aviation Department Tin Naing Htun has said.

The announcement has followed a call for tenders to renovate Yangon and Mandalay airports and to build a new international airport in Hanthawady, marking the private sector’s first-time involvement in the operation of domestic airports.

Tin Naing Htun also added the move will help offset the cost of running the airports. Myanmar has recently spent 12 billion USD per year to maintain 69 airports nationwide.

The tender is slated for January, 2014. Foreign investors are permitted to participate in the process, but local businesses will be prioritised under the country’s current investment law.

The Civil Aviation Department reported that in the first nine months of this year, 2.6 million travellers passed through the domestic airports which will be put out to tender. The figure is expected to reach 2.7 million in 2015.-VNA