State council to assess Long Thanh Airport feasibility study

By Nguyen Huong   March 11, 2019 | 08:56 pm PT
State council to assess Long Thanh Airport feasibility study
An artist impression of the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo by Airports Corporation of Vietnam
A new state council will appraise the feasibility study for Phase 1 of the Long Thanh International Airport.

A decision to this effect taken by the Prime Minister on March 8 designates Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung as head of the appraisal council and one of his deputies as vice chairman.

Other council members will include leaders of 13 relevant agencies, the State Capital Management Committee and the People’s Committee of southern Dong Nai Province, where the project will be located.

Under the decision, the Prime Minister allows the council to hire domestic and foreign consultants to ensure independence and objectiveness in developing and appraising the project’s feasibility study (FS).

The Prime Minister has asked the 13 relevant agencies to nominate their people as council members before this Friday.

He has also asked the Ministry of Transport and the State Capital Management Committee to direct project investors to complete the FS soon and arrange capital for developing and appraising it.

In mid-2018, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), which operates 21 airports in the country, had proposed that it contributes more than a quarter of the $5.4 billion needed to build the Long Thanh International Airport, becoming its main investor.

ACV has signed a contract with JFV, a consortium of consultants comprising three Japanese, one French and two Vietnamese companies, to complete an FS for phase one of the airport’s construction by June.

As scheduled, the Ministry of Transport will submit the FS to the government this July.

The Prime Minister will then submit the FS to the National Assembly Standing Committee in September 2019 and the parliament is expected to approve it in October or November this year.

The Long Thanh Airport, with total investment capital estimated at VND336.63 trillion ($16.03 billion), is to be built in three phases over three decades.

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.

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

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

Once completed, Long Thanh International Airport will have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo.

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung last month stated that construction of Long Thanh International Airport should begin next year with priority given to private funding.

The airport project has reached the highest level of priority since Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport is overloaded, he said at a meeting.

The deputy prime minister wanted the giant new airport in Dong Nai Province to become a Southeast Asian aviation hub.

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