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Many Vietnamese legislators back Long Thanh airport project

A lot of Vietnamese National Assembly deputies have approved of the project to build an international airport in the southern province of Dong Nai to ease pressure on another terminal in Ho Chi Minh City.

An artist's impression of Long Thanh International Airport, which is expected to be built in Dong Nai Province's Long Thanh District in southern Vietnam
An artist’s impression of Long Thanh International Airport, which is expected to be built in Dong Nai Province’s Long Thanh District in southern Vietnam

The support was given at an NA meeting on Friday, when the multibillion-dollar Long Thanh International Airport project was raised for discussion.

Many deputies were of the same opinion that the building of a modern international airport is necessary to meet the growing demand of aviation transport, contributing to national development and defense and security, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

One of the supporters of the project is Hoang Thi To Nga, from northern Nam Dinh Province, who said the Long Thanh airport will stimulate the development of many related sectors such as services, tourism, trade and industry, and aviation.

The airport will serve as a driving force for socio-economic development in southern Vietnam in general and the southeastern region in particular, she said.

Many other deputies also expressed the same opinions while voicing concerns about the pressure of such a large-scale project on the national economy in the context of low growth, instable public debt payment, and unclear investment effectiveness.

At the meeting, deputies also debated the socio-economic effects of the project and issues related to land clearance and resident relocation.

Some deputies questioned the urgency of the airport project, requesting that the government give more explanations before setting a time frame for its implementation to begin.

Deputy Huynh Nghia, from the central city of Da Nang, asked that the government further report on the operations of Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City in years to come.

One of the main arguments for Long Thanh’s construction is to lessen pressure on Tan Son Nhat which is said to become overloaded by 2017.

Considering current difficult economic conditions, it is essential to carefully set out the time to execute the project, said deputy Nguyen Ngoc Phuong, from the central province of Quang Binh.

Phuong added that the project can be initiated in 2018 when the country’s economic situation may become much more stable.

According to the project, Long Thanh International Airport will be constructed in Dong Nai’s Long Thanh District, just 45km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Total investment in the first phase of the project is about VND164.589 trillion (US$7.8 billion), according to a government report.

Of the amount, VND84.624 trillion will come from the state budget, government bonds, and official development aid while the remaining VND79.965 trillion will be covered by the private sector.