Construction of a new airstrip

In 2019, MAF began construction of a new airstrip at the top of a mountain in Chin State. Once complete, the airstrip will provide easier access to serve the remote community of Lailenpi and the surrounding region.

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Work underway at Lailenpi airstrip
Work underway at Lailenpi airstrip, 2019

Chin State, Myanmar

Due to its geography and topography Chin State is highly inaccessible. The impact of this means:

  • Chin State has the highest rate of poverty within Myanmar - 73%¬†against the National Poverty Headcount index (individuals with insufficient consumption expenditure to meet basic food and non-food needs). The estimated nationwide average is 48% by 2022.
  • Lailenpi is a two day drive from the nearest airport in the dry season.
  • During the monsoon season the majority of the area becomes completely isolated due to road closures or landslides.
  • Road transport is hazardous; occasionally vehicles accidentally drive off the narrow, windy roads and down steep embankments which usually leads to some fatalities.
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The overland route to Lailenpi
The overland route to Lailenpi
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On the road to Lailenpi
On the road to Lailenpi
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Contractor's trucks driving to Lailenpi
Contractor's trucks driving to Lailenpi

Lailenpi airstrip

A few facts about the airstrip in Lailenpi, in Chin State:

  • 740m runway to serve utility aircraft (small, light aircraft up to approximately 10-seats).
  • The airstrip will serve approx. 40,000 people.
  • The airstrip with resultant flight service will provide easier all-year-round access to the area, rather than expose travellers to the lengthy and sometimes hazardous overland journey. This in turn will lead to accelerated socio-economic development of the region, as well as allow these communities to better connect with the rest of Myanmar.
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Construction underway at Lailenpi airstrip
Construction underway at Lailenpi airstrip
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Lailenpi community planting cash crops on excavated soil around the airstrip
The community plant cash crops on excavated soil around the airstrip, 2020
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Aerial view of progress at Lailenpi
Aerial view of progress at Lailenpi