Hill Needs To Be Levelled Before Chin State Airport Can Be Completed

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After a flight test at Surbung Airport, personnel discovered a nearby hill needed to be removed before the long-delayed airport being built in Chin State’s Falam Township could be completed.

Chin State spokesperson Soe Htet says 97 percent of the construction has been completed. The next step is to level the hill. Then taxiway centerlines can be added. “Once we’ve done that, then an aircraft can land at our airport.” he says. The hill could pose a risk for landing aircrafts, he explains, but to eliminate it they need to expand the airport’s budget.

During flight testing from June 25 to June 27, the airport’s communication system was tested. Wind speeds were also measured over three days.

Soe Htet explained that while an aircraft hasn’t yet landed on the runway, they flew an BEEK-2990 aircraft between 1,500 and 800 feet over the airport.

The spokesperson says a second test will be conducted to determine if the airport can be opened after the hill is removed.

Surbung Airport is the first airport in Chin State. Construction on the facility, located 6,000 feet above sea level, started in 2015 and cost 34 billion kyat (US$24.6 million). The runway is 6,000 ft in length and 100 ft in width, and accommodates ATR-72 aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 50,000 lb. There is a 200 ft long and 100 ft wide extended runway.

Budget shortfalls over the years delayed the completion of the airport. Recent delays have been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented Western expertise from arriving to assist in the completion of final tests.

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