Vietnam’s mega airport project to get site clearance funding soon

By Hoang Thuy   October 29, 2018 | 01:54 am PT
Vietnam’s mega airport project to get site clearance funding soon
An artist impression of the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai province, Vietnam. Photo acquired by VnExpress
The parliament has heard that site clearance funding for the Long Thanh International Airport could be disbursed very soon.

Transport Minister Nguyen Van The informed the ongoing National Assembly (NA) session Monday that the government is likely to approve the site clearance plan for the Long Thanh airport project in the southern province of Dong Nai next month.

Immediately after the approval, Dong Nai would be able to access site clearance funding, he said.

In the first phase, VND23 trillion ($987 million) will be disbursed for the site clearance, The said.

He said the ministry had signed contracts in June with five contractors, three Japanese and two Vietnamese, after an international bidding process.

“The five contractors are speeding up their work to finish the feasibility study for the first phase of the project and are expected to finish it in July next year,” he said.

The Long Thanh International Airport, to be built in three phases over three decades, is set to become Vietnam’s largest airport.

The first part is scheduled for completion in 2025, when the new airport will be able to handle 25 million passengers a year. The next two phases will run from 2030 to 2035 and from 2040 to 2050.

Investment in the first phase is estimated at VND114 trillion ($4.87 billion), sourced from the state budget, government bonds and private equity.

Experts have previously warned that the construction cost of the airport could double every five years.

At an NA session last week, NA deputy Duong Trung Quoc representing Dong Nai Province expressed concerns over signs of delay in the construction of Long Thanh.

“Funding for the project is ready, but the people are still waiting for it to be deployed,” Quoc said, adding that the project’s feasibility report has not been approved after the NA discussed it in May.

The longer a project is delayed, the more complicated and difficult it will become in terms of budgeting, Quoc said.

CNN Travel has recently listed the upcoming Long Thanh International Airport among the world’s 16 most exciting airport projects.

Lying 40 kilometers east of HCMC, the airport is expected to take up the overflow from the largest existing airport in the country, the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Tan Son Nhat now receives 32 million passengers a year, far beyond its designed capacity of 25 million.

“With a growing number of visitors to the country, and the national carrier, Vietnam Airlines, growing its operations, the government has brought forward construction of a new airport to be known as Long Thanh International,” a CNN Travel report said.

Once completed, Long Thanh, expected to cover 5,000 hectares (12,400 acres), would replace Tan Son Nhat as the largest airport in Vietnam.

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

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