Dong Nai Province unveiled plans Monday to acquire the land required for the proposed Long Thanh International Airport, Vietnam’s biggest.
According to the plan, approved by the government last week, acquiring the nearly 5,400 hectares (13,300 acres) of land in Long Thanh District will cost VND23 trillion ($987 million).
Most of the area is now covered by plantations belonging to the Dong Nai Rubber Corporation.
However, 5,000 families with 17,000 members are to be relocated, and they will all get land in a resettlement area by early 2020, officials said.
The airport will come up 40 kilometers east of Ho Chi Minh City, home to the country’s now largest Tan Son Nhat airport which is handling 32 million passengers a year, far beyond its designed capacity of 25 million.
Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The had told legislators at a meeting late last month that the government was likely to approve the land acquisition plan this month, and funds for it would be released soon afterwards.
The Long Thanh International Airport, to be built in three phases over three decades, is set to become Vietnam’s largest airport, and is among the world’s 16 most exciting airport projects according to a recent CNN Travel report.
The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2025, when it will be able to handle 25 million passengers annually. The next two phases will be built in 2030-35 and from 2040-50.
The new airport would have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo when completed.
The first phase is estimated to cost VND114 trillion ($4.87 billion), and will be raised from public funds, a bond issue and private sources.
Experts have warned that the cost of the airport could double every five years.
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