Vietnamese firm seeks main investor status in Long Thanh airport

By Dat Nguyen   February 11, 2019 | 02:54 am PT
Vietnamese firm seeks main investor status in Long Thanh airport
An artist impression of the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam. Photo by Airports Corporation of Vietnam
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) desires to be the main investor in the Long Thanh International Airport.

ACV, which operates 21 airports in the country, has proposed that it contributes more than a quarter of the $5.4 billion needed to build the new Long Thanh International Airport.

Lai Xuan Thanh, chairman of ACV, said that the corporation is ready to contribute $1-1.5 billion needed for the first phase of the mega airport to be built in Dong Nai Province, neighboring HCMC.

In a proposal to the Ministry of Transport, ACV has said that its initial contribution will be used for major components of the airport including the terminal, runways, parking lots and cargo areas, worth a total of $3.77 billion, according to the Vietnamese government’s website.

The airport operator is currently working with the Ministry of Transport and Dong Nai authorities on acquiring about 1,800 hectares for the first phase of the airport.

Most of the targeted area is now covered by plantations belonging to the Dong Nai Rubber Corporation where 200 families reside.

The Ministry of Transport has asked the consultancy consortium of the airport, JFV, to finish an environmental impact report next month.

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

In turn, the ministry "will submit the feasibility report to the National Assembly in October. If it is approved, bidding will start in 2020 and construction in 2021," Transport Minister Nguyen Van The told local media recently.

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.

Experts have previously warned that the construction cost of the 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.

The tourism surge of recent years in Vietnam has resulted in demands for an upgrade of existing airports and construction of new ones.

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

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