Vietnam’s largest airport set for $496 million expansion

By Doan Loan   January 10, 2019 | 11:13 pm PT
Vietnam’s largest airport set for $496 million expansion
A view of Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
The Tan Son Nhat Airport could get a third terminal and other facilities at the cost of over $496 million.

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), which manages and operates civil airports in the country, has submitted to the Ministry of Transport a pre-feasibility report on the construction of a third terminal (T3) at HCMC-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport to reduce overload.

T3 will be designed to have a capacity of 20 million passengers per year, with total floor area of about 100,000 square meters.

ACV proposes to construct in tandem an additional airport apron, a two-lane overhead path, a 5-lane viaduct in front of the terminal and a multi-storey car park. The total cost is estimated at over VND11.43 trillion ($496.18 million).

The completion of feasibility reports and selection of construction blueprints is set to be finished in February 2020.

Once T3’s design has been approved, contractors will be chosen via a tendering process so that construction starts in the third quarter of 2020 and can be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

ADPis proposal includes building a new terminal in the south (yellow) and supporting structures north of the airport (blue). Graph by VnExpress

ADPi's proposal includes building a new terminal in the south (yellow) and supporting structures north of the airport (blue). Graph by VnExpress

Because the construction area is located on the Defense Ministry's land, ACV has suggested allowing a temporary handover of the site in Q1 next year for construction along with completion of necessary legal procedures.

There are also plans to expand existing terminals T1 and T2 of the Tan Son Nhat airport, raising their combined capacity to 30 million passengers per year.

The airport currently handles 36 million passengers per year, which is way above its designed capacity of 25 million.

The Transport Ministry has hired French consulting firm ADPi to work on the plan alongside local firms. The plan proposed by ADPi was approved by the Prime Minister last March and it formed the basis for the new, detailed version.

ACV has also proposed to the Ministry of Transport that it be assigned as investor for the construction of essential components for the proposed Long Thanh International Airport, including passenger terminal, flying zone (runway, taxiway, apron), and refueling systems.

ACV chairman Lai Xuan Thanh said that the company is willing to spend between $1-1.5 billion for constructing the first phase of the proposed airport, which is estimated to cost $5.4 billion.

The Long Thanh Airport, to be built in three phases over three decades, was recently listed by CNN Travel as one of the world’s 16 most exciting airport projects.

The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2025 when it will be able to handle 25 million passengers annually. The next two phases will be built in 2030-2035 and from 2040-2050.

The new airport would have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo when completed.

ACV has announced that in its 2019 plan, the company will spend more than VND10 trillion ($432.71 million) on upgrading and expanding several airports, including Cat Bi in northern Hai Phong City, Vinh in central Nghe An Province, Phu Cat in central Binh Dinh Province, and Noi Bai in Hanoi.

Most of these upgrades are expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2019.

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