Dong Nai readies site for Vietnam's biggest airport

By Phuoc Tuan   August 25, 2023 | 02:48 am PT
Dong Nai readies site for Vietnam's biggest airport
The construction site of Long Thanh Airport in Dong Nai Province in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
The entire 5,000 hectares needed for building Long Thanh airport in southern Dong Nai Province has finally been cleared and transferred to the investor.

The state-owned Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) signed an agreement with Dong Nai authorities to receive the clear land on Friday.

With the clear site now ready, the ACV, the airport's investor, said work on the airport's runway and parking lot would start in a few days.

The government approved the project to clear site for the airport, compensate affected families, and build a resettlement area at a cost of VND22.8 trillion (US$955 million) in 2018 and tasked Dong Nai Province with the project.

But the progress had dragged on since then, and the ACV has more than once commented on the tardiness of site clearance.

It said limited site clearance had slowed down construction of the cargo terminal, the delivery depot, the aircraft cleaning area, and the ground equipment maintenance zone.

According to Dong Nai authorities, the slow progress has been mainly caused by issues related to the resettlement of affected families as many do not have papers proving legal ownership of their property, making it difficult to complete compensation and relocation.

In all, the project affects 7,000 families and of them, 4,500 will lose houses and need to be resettled.

However, only 4,239 are approved to be compensated with new house and have legal papers proving ownership.

Until now, procedures have been completed for 4,211 families to move into resettlement areas.

Work started on Long Thanh airport in early 2021. A year after work began, only fencing and demining had been completed, drawing criticism from Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Costing an estimated $14.3 billion, Long Thanh is designed to serve 100 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo per year when fully operational.

The project's first phase must be put into use in 2025 to serve 25 million passengers per year.

Once operational, the airport will replace HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport as the largest and busiest airport in Vietnam.

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