Deputy PM wants Long Thanh airport construction to begin next year

By Dat Nguyen   February 12, 2019 | 08:36 pm PT
Deputy PM wants Long Thanh airport construction to begin next year
Layout plan for Long Thanh terminal. Photo by Airports Corporation of Vietnam
Construction of Long Thanh International Airport should begin next year with private funding prioritized, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung has said.

It has reached the highest level of priority since Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat has become overloaded, he said at a recent meeting.

The deputy prime minister wanted the giant new airport in Dong Nai Province near HCMC to become an aviation hub for Southeast Asia.

"If we get companies with deep pockets into the project, costs would surely be lower than using public funds or loans."

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) recently proposed it should be the main investor.

The ACV, which operates 21 airports in the country, said it could bring in the $1-1.5 billion needed for the first phase of the airport.

It is currently working with the Ministry of Transport and Dong Nai authorities to acquire 1,800 hectares of land for the first phase.

The ministry reported at the meeting that the consultancy consortium of the airport is now completing the preliminary design, which would be submitted next April.

The ministry has instructed the consortium, JFV, to complete an environmental impact report by next month.

JFV, comprising three Japanese, one French and two Vietnamese companies, will also need to submit a feasibility report for the airport by June.

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

The first part is scheduled for completion in 2025 with a capacity of 25 million passengers a year. The next two phases will run from 2030 to 2035 and from 2040 to 2050.

The total cost is estimated at $16 billion. Experts have warned that the cost could double every five years in case of delays.

Once completed, the airport will have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo.

The tourism surge in Vietnam in recent years has resulted in a demand for upgrades to existing airports and construction of new ones.

The country received 12.5 million air passengers last year, up 14.4 percent from 2017, according to the General Statistics Office.

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