Southern Dong Nai Province will complete the remaining site needed for the Long Thanh airport project by June, it said in a report sent to the central government.
The project spans 5,000 hectares in Dong Nai, a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City.
So far, the project’s investor, the state-owned Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), has received just 4,700 ha of clear land.
Dong Nai also asked to push the deadline to compensate and relocate affected families until 2024.
The province said the pandemic and social distancing rules had caused delays in site clearance, compensation, and resettlement.
The government has more than once pushed Dong Nai to complete site clearance for the airport project. In February, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha ordered the province to complete the transfer of all land needed to build the Long Thanh airport within the first quarter of this year.
Previously, the province cited issues related to the resettlement of affected families as the main reason for the delays.
Many families living in areas designated for the airport project do not have papers proving legal ownership of their property, making it difficult to complete compensation and relocation procedures.
In 2028, the project to clear site for the Long Thanh airport project, compensate affected families, and build a resettlement area was approved by the government at the total cost of VND22.8 trillion (US$980,000).
Now Dong Nai Province said it would like to reduce the project’s total fund to around VND19.2 trillion as the cost for compensation and building the resettlement area has dropped compared to initially calculated.
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 it is fully operational.
As currently targeted, the project’s first phase must be put into use in 2025 to serve 25 million passengers per year.
Once operational, the airport would replace HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport as the largest and busiest airport in Vietnam.
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