High-altitude Surbung Airport will be the first major airport in Myanmar’s mountainous Chin State. Perched at 1,830m above sea level, the 522-hectare site is located 13km west of Falam and features a 1,830m runway measuring 30m wide with a capacity for planes carrying 60 passengers.
The project was first unveiled in 2013 and construction began in April 2015. While construction was completed earlier this year, with the first test landing taking place at the end of October, the opening has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flights between Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, and Kalay are expected to be available in 2021.
Chin State, one of Myanmar’s poorest states, is currently only reachable by road and suffers from poor infrastructure. Monsoon rains cause landslides and ruin the state’s roads, regularly leaving large areas of the state isolated. Surbung Airport, in the centre of the state, is expected to help solve transport problems as well as to boost tourism at sights like the heart-shaped Rih Lake, Nat Ma Taung National Park, and other scenic locations.