The Dien Bien Airport in the northern eponymous province will close for six months of expansions and upgrades starting April 1.
The closure of the airport was approved by the Dien Bien Province People’s Committee following a proposal submitted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
In early February, the investor of the project, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), committed to complete the expansion before October. ACV said it would build a new security fence until June, then a runway, a taxiway, and an apron.
The upgrade will enable the airport to handle bigger aircraft like the Airbus A320 and A321.
The new passenger terminal will have two floors. The first floor is for arrivals and departures, while the second floor will have a waiting area, a lounge for wealthy business class travelers, commercial retail stores and other services. The newly designed blueprints will expand the current terminal’s capacity from 300,000 to 500,000 people.
The project is planned to cost a total of VND1.467 trillion (US$62 million) paid for by ACV.
In addition, total site clearance costs of VND1.555 billion will be paid for by the Dien Bien Province coffers. The project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
Of the six northwestern border provinces, only Dien Bien has an airport, which is strategically located for national defense and security purposes, as well as local and regional economic development.
The airport is not far from former battlefields made famous by the defeat of the French military in 1954 at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The victory won by the hands of Vietnamese guerilla insurgents against one of the most powerful colonial armies in the world mostly ended European control of Indochina.
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