Experts: Work on Long Thanh airport needs to be sped up

Construction of Long Thanh International Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai at an earlier date than initially planned will help reduce overcrowding in Ho Chi Minh City-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport, experts have said.

A seminar was held on March 28 to discuss ways to speed up the construction of the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai. (Photo: www.tienphong.vn)

A seminar was held on March 28 to discuss ways to speed up the construction of the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai. (Photo: www.tienphong.vn)

At a seminar co-organised in HCM City on March 28 by Tien Phong Newspaper, the Ministry of Transport and the provincial People’s Committee of Dong Nai, the experts said the opening of the Long Thanh airport will allow the Tan Son Nhat airport to decrease its number of flights and have time to upgrade and expand later.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong held that creating favourable conditions for the construction of Long Thanh International Airport will offer a great opportunity for growth of the aviation market.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Vietnam will become one of the five fastest-growing markets in the world in terms of additional passengers per year in the 2015-2035 period.

At the seminar, many experts expressed concern about policies and measures related to capital resources, modes of investment, land clearance, resettlement and compensation to landowners.

Nguyen Ngoc Hung, Deputy Director of Dong Nai’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the airport project will be the largest one in the province since 1975, which will cover an area of 5,000ha, including 1,800ha of rubber trees.

Relocating residents will not be a problem because most of them have agreed to move and cooperate in land clearance and compensation, he said.

However, about 15,000 people, most of them farmers and workers at rubber plantations, need to be resettled and given new jobs.

Land for two new residential areas is being recovered and vocational training for people of working age will be offered, Hung said.

He suggested the Government set a clear policy related to land prices to avoid unreasonable price hikes and ensure profits for residents.

The long wait for the start of this project has affected the living conditions of local people, because they don’t know when it is going to be built, said Duong Trung Quoc, a National Assembly deputy.

“We need to draw up plans for urban planning instead of focusing on the airport project only,” he said, adding that the government should call for their contribution and see their participation as critical for long-term growth.

The Long Thanh airport has been designed to handle about 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of goods each year. Total costs are estimated at 336.6 trillion VND (14.8 billion USD). Construction of the first phase is expected to begin in 2020 with completion in 2025.

The first terminal to be completed in the first phase of the project is expected to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of goods a year.

Vietnamplus

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