Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that it is necessary to build Long Thanh International Airport, as an upgrade to Tan Son Nhat International Airport to raise its annual capacity to 40 million passengers would be costly and unfeasible.
Long Thanh International Airport
According to the PM, the southern economic zone is Vietnam’s economic centre, which sees the highest aviation transport demand in the country and must meet rising transport demand for both domestic and international routes.
Currently, Tan Son Nhat Airport is designed to meet a maximum demand of around 25 million passengers per year. It is located in the city's centre with high population density, but without a land fund for an upgrade or expansion in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He said it would be costly and unfeasible for the airport to make an upgrade plan that would raise its annual capacity to 30-40 million passengers, government leaders said, adding that the construction of Long Thanh International Airport will help to mitigate overcrowding Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
Long Thanh International Airport has been named in the country’s airport development plan. Currently, management agencies have been completing investment procedures to report them to the State Appraisal Council before they are submitted to the government and National Assembly for approval. After they are approved by the National Assembly, the search for investors will begin.
By 2030, Long Thanh International Airport will be expanded to replace Tan Son Nhat International Airport, becoming the most important airport in the southern region and the biggest international airport of Vietnam, with an annual capacity of 80-100 million passengers per year.
The project is planned to be located on a 5,000-ha site, and will cost around USD13 billion. The large cost has raised eyebrows among many, who say it would add too much to the national debt.