Some good news has been announced for 40,000 people
living in the far-flung town of Lailenpi, Matupi District, southern Chin State,
where there is no access to telephone and postal services. The town is to have
a small airport built with an 800m runway.
The airport is part of a series of small airports to
be built for Chin State and will have a capacity of serving 10-seat aircraft.
The US$2.2m airport project will be implemented by Mission Aviation Fellowship
(MAF) International in cooperation with the government ministries and
departments concerned, Health & Hope, a Christian relief and development organization
working in western Myanmar and overseas based engineering
Mr Chad Tilley, country representative of MAF, said
that it is targeted to start implementing the project the following summer.
“Such a small airport cannot serve some big
aircrafts and is suitable for 10-to-13-seat aircraft landings. We chose this
place to build an airport since it is more difficult to go there than other
places,” he added.
MAF is a non-profit organization with a long history
and track record in constructing airstrips and providing a secure humanitarian
and development aviation service to isolated regions around the world.
Lailenpi was a village that was promoted to town status
two years ago. Currently, it takes five days to get to Yangon from the town between
January to April and two weeks during the remaining calendar year due to
difficulties on the route cause by the heavy rains. When the project is done,
the airport will be of economic help to trade and the tourism industry of Chin
State as well as the socio-economic life of people living in over 100 villages
around the town.
Having a cliff of 1200m in height, a variety of
orchids and natural scenery, the Lailenpi area is in a beautiful geographic
location which is a good destination for tourism business opportunities.
Mr Chad Tilley also gave his remark saying that
bordered with India, Lailenpi might later become a mountain resort popular with
There are nine towns and many travel destinations in
Chin State which has a population of 50,000.