Transport minister wants rail link to connect Saigon with multibillion-dollar airport

By Hoang Thuy   June 9, 2017 | 11:14 am GMT+7

Passengers would be able to move between Tan Son Nhat and the upcoming Long Thanh Airport on a train.

Vietnam’s transport minister has proposed building a rail line connecting the currently largest airport in Ho Chi Minh City to the upcoming one around 30 miles away.

Minister Truong Quang Nghia told legislators on Thursday that it's "necessary" to have trains running between Tan Son Nhat and Long Thanh Airport, a multibillion-dollar project being developed in Dong Nai Province.

“This is a big opportunity for both Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai,” he said.

Long Thanh Airport, to be built over 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres) of land, is expected to replace the overstrained Tan Son Nhat as the largest airport in 2025.

The transport minister did not mention any cost estimate for his proposed rail line. There have already been concerns about funding for the new airport, which the transport minister earlier this month said could cost a total of $16 billion.

Lawmakers are worried about an increase of public debt as site clearance alone could cost more than $1 billion and will have to be covered by the state budget.

The transport ministry in April has picked a lotus-themed design for the airport. This choice is being reviewed by the government.