Vietnam may start building its biggest airport in 2020

By Thi Ha   November 19, 2018 | 08:38 pm PT
Vietnam may start building its biggest airport in 2020
The Long Thanh International Airport is planned to be built in three phases over three decades. Photo by VnExpress/File
Work on Vietnam’s biggest airport would start in 2020 and it will become operational in 2025, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) says.

ACV, which manages and operates civil airports in the country, also says that it will complete business appraisals and feasibility reports for submission to the National Assembly for approval in October 2019.

Transport Minister Nguyen Van The had told legislators at a meeting late last month that the government was likely to approve land acquisition plans for the project this month, and release funds for it immediately after.

Situated 40 kilometers east of Ho Chi Minh City, the Long Thanh International Airport is expected to take up 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.

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.

The first phase is estimated to cost VND114 trillion ($4.87 billion), and will be raised from public funds, a bond issue and private sources.

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

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

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

According to a recent announcement by ACV, by the end of October, the total amount of passengers going through airports this year was estimated at 87 million, by 12 percent over the same period in 2017.

This year, the number of international passengers rose by 23 percent, while the figure for domestic customers increased by 7 percent.

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