DONG NAI — Viet Nam's largest international airport, approved by the Prime Minister on June 14, will open to the public in 2020 after the first phase of development, according to a new plan unveiled by Transport Minister Dinh La Thang in southern Dong Nai Province yesterday.
The airport, to be built in three phases, is expected to be fully operational by 2035, with an annual capacity of 100 million passengers.
Construction on the Long Thanh International Airport is scheduled to begin in 2015, and by 2020, it will be capable of handling 25 million passengers a year.
With an investment of more than US$10 billion and covering more than 5,000ha, Long Thanh is expected to become a competitive international airport and a key entry point to Southeast Asia.
The airport, which will be located around 43km from HCM City, will serve 90 per cent of international and 20 per cent of domestic flights, diverting a major chunk of passenger traffic from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City.
Before Long Thanh reaches full capacity in 2035, Tan Son Nhat will still be in charge of 80 per cent of domestic and 10 per cent of international flights.
The HCM City airport, which now serves 12 million domestic and international passengers a year, may be used as a standby airport beyond 2035, according to the Ministry of Transport.
Funding for the project will come from Government bonds, official development assistance (ODA) and private sources.
Government capital and ODA will be used for airport infrastructure and private funding will be sought to build the passenger terminal.
More than $6.7 billion will be spent on ground clearance and construction during the first phase. Airport capacity will double after the second phase and will be completed by 2030.
"The foremost job is compensating residents who have to move after site clearance and building two resettlement areas for them," Dinh Quoc Thai, chairman of the Dong Nai People's Committee, told reporters yesterday.
At least 10,000 people from six communes in the provincial southern district of Long Thanh will be resettled for the airport's construction.
Covering 5,000ha, Long Thanh would take up 20 per cent of the total land area of 10 international airports to be built according to the Government's plan until 2030, Thang, the transport minister, said yesterday when he announced the plan.
At full capacity, the airport is expected to receive A380 and A900 aircraft and serve 5 million tonnes of cargo every year.
Two parallel runways will be built during the first phase, and the number of runways will be expanded to three in the second phase. The third phase beyond 2030 will increase the number to four.
To make it convenient to travel to Long Thanh International Airport, the Government has planned the construction and upgrading of road and rail routes connecting the new terminals.
The highways from HCM City to Long Thanh and from Vung Tau to Bien Hoa, the capital of Dong Nai, are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
The express train route connecting Nha Trang and HCM City, which will also contribute to the transport to the new airport, is expected to be finished before 2030.
The new airport is expected to boost the economic development of Dong Nai Province, home to more than 30 industrial parks, the highest number in the country.
Thai, the province's leader, said Long Thanh International Airport would play an important role in improving the province's economy, its tourism industry, and other key industrial and agricultural sectors.— VNS