Yangon International Airport, located in Mingaladon, at 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Downtown Yangon, is the primary international airport of Burma and the third largest airport in the country after Mandalay international airport and Nay Pyi Taw international airport. Once, it was regarded as the best and most modern airport in Southeast Asia.
The airport's old terminal is used exclusively for domestic flights, and the new terminal, in operation since May 2007, handles international flights. The airport, which can handle 2.7 million passengers a year, handled 800,000 international passengers and 1.2 million domestic passengers in 2006. All five Burmese carriers and about 20 international airlines operate out of Yangon International. In June 2011, the government announced plans to expand the airport by 40% and increase its capacity from 2.7 million passengers to 3.8 million passengers, annually. The airport is already over its annual capacity of 2.7 million passengers, having accepted 3.1 million in 2012.
During World War II, the airfield served as an operating base for fighter aircraft from the 3rd Squadron, 1st American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) of the Chinese Air Force. The airport was built on the former World War II airfield RAF Mingaladon in 1947 by the Calcutta Metropolitan Airports Authority. Once regarded as the best in Southeast Asia, the airport fell into disrepair and was for decades dilapidated and antiquated. Historically, it was considered to be the main international airport in connecting Southeast Asia with the rest of the world.
A modernization programme launched in April 2003 has so far resulted in a new terminal and an extended 11,200-foot (3414 m) runway. Designed by the Airport Development Division of CPG Corporation of Singapore and constructed by Asia World, a leading Burmese construction firm, at a cost of US$13.3 million, the new terminal can handle 900 arriving and 900 departing passengers simultaneously. Overall design and detailing was carried out to meet IATA service standards and to comply with ICAO safety and security standards at a cost of SG$30 million. Other notable features include: