Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has assigned the operator of all airports in the country to be the developer of a new multibillion-dollar terminal near Ho Chi Minh City, the first step taken after the megaproject was green lighted in June.
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam is required to earmark its investment and development fund to prepare the feasibility report for the first phase of Long Thanh International Airport, according to the premier.
The feasibility report must be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval before it is passed to the state assessment board, as per current regulations.
On June 25, the law-making National Assembly passed a resolution approving the development of the new airport, located in the eponymous district of the southern province of Dong Nai, with a vote of 428-17, plus 16 abstentions.
The airport must be able to handle 100 million passengers and five million metric tons of cargo a year by its last phase, according to the resolution.
The total estimate for the three-phase project is VND336.63 trillion, or $16.03 billion. The first phase of construction is expected to consume VND114.45 trillion ($5.45 billion) of the total, and is required to be completed no later than 2025.
The costly project is allowed to be funded by the state budget, official development assistance, capital of the developers and partners under the public-private partnership scheme, according to the resolution.
The proposed new airport is only around 50km from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the country’s busiest, in Ho Chi Minh City. The Long Thanh terminal is planned to share the burden with Tan Son Nhat, which is expected to become overloaded in 2017.
The whopping investment required to build Long Thanh International Airport is one of the reasons why the project faced objections before it received the green light from the National Assembly.
Although the project will be implemented in three stages, the resolution only sets a timeline for the first phase.
By 2025, the first phase of the airport, consisting of the construction of a runway and a passenger terminal capable of serving 25 million passengers a year, must be put into use.
The second runway and passenger terminal will be built in the next phase, which has no deadline, to increase the capacity to 50 million passengers per annum.
The airport will continue to be upgraded to receive 100 million passengers a year by the last phase.
The state-run Airports Corporation of Vietnam was founded in 2012, after the three operators of airports in northern, central and southern Vietnam were merged.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based company now operates and manages all 21 civil airports in Vietnam.
Airports Corporation of Vietnam general director Le Manh Hung said the company will invite bids to select the consultant firm for the feasibility report, which will take around two years to complete.