Chin State’s First Airport to Have First Flight Test

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With the construction of Chin State’s Surbung Airport complete, the first flight test—with a landing—is scheduled for the last week in October.

The Falam Township airport is the state’s first.

“We have yet to open Surbung Airport. This time we will conduct the airport’s first flight landing test,” Chin State’s municipal minister and spokesperson Soe Htet said. “We had a flight flying over the airport in the last flight test; the airport didn’t land on the runway. This time the flight will test out the landing at the airport.”

The landing test is scheduled for October 27.

The fly-over test was carried out on June 25 with a BEEK-290 airplane, Soe Htet said and was mainly held to test communication technology at the Surbung Airport.

It is not known if or how an opening ceremony for the airport will be able to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to government restrictions on large gatherings.

“Our people expect an opening ceremony to be held for the airport. Our people want the President, Vice President, State Counsellor and other high-ranking officials to attend the opening ceremony,” the municipal minister told Khonumthung News. “Now only 30 to 50 people are allowed to gather during the COVID-19 period. People do not want [an opening ceremony]like this. We are waiting for a convenient time.”

On the day of the first flight landing, Soe Htet added that they would likely host a small ceremony to mark the occasion.

The total cost of the construction of Surbung Airport has been 37 billion kyats (US$28.3 million) and began during the 2015-2016 financial year. Once operational, the airport, which is 6,000 feet above sea level, will be able to accommodate 72-passenger ATR-72 planes.

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