The government of Vietnam wants to build airports in areas with big tourism potential such as Sapa, Halong Bay, Dong Hoi and Chulai. So far, Van Don International Airport in Halong Bay will be the first to open to travellers by the end of the year.
Vietnam looks at further developing airports in the country, anticipating a further sharp increase in passengers’ demand over the years to come. The government plans to build five new airports over the next decade/ By 2030, the country will have 28 airports, including 15 domestic facilities (currently 13) as well as 13 international gateways (currently 10).
The ambitious goals were recently announced as part of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s decision to boost the aviation sector until 2020 with a long-term vision for 2030. The location for new airports are generally in areas with a strong tourism appeal, except for Long Thanh future airport in Ho Chi Minh City.
New airfields are planned at Halong Bay, the hill resort of Sapa as well as Dong Hoi-Quang Bin province capital city-and Chu Lai. The latter used to be a US military base during the Vietnam War with its port and airfield. Chu Lai is also a perfect gateway to the greater Quang Ngai province in Vietnam’s south-central coast. Because of its history, Chu Lai is a popular stop for veterans returning to Vietnam.
Dong Hoi stands in the vicinity of popular tourist attractions such as Quang Phu Sand dunes, Son Doong Caves or the ruins of Tam Toa Church. Van Dong International Airport in the vicinity of Halong Bay is the only one to be operational before the end of the year with a tentative date of opening set in December.
In the latest move, earlier this month, the People’s Committee of the northern province of Lao Cai proposed to the Ministry of Transport construct an airport in the province with total investment of nearly VND5.8 trillion, equivalent to US$250 million. The airport will be located in Cam Con Commune, Bao Yen District, about 40km from Lao Cai City and will be positioned to easily connect with the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway, which cut travel time between Hanoi and Lao Cai to four hours. It will also serve the hill resort city of Sapa.
The future airport will be built in two phases, the first phase planned to start before 2020 with an initial capacity for 600,000 passengers and the possibility to accommodate simultaneously two aircraft Airbus A320 and a turbo-propeller. In a second phase, the airfield will receive 1.5 million passengers with the possibility to accommodate up to five aircraft simultaneously. The provincial People’s Committee are looking to find private investors to fund the project.
The largest project due for completion by 2025 is Long Thanh near Ho Chi Minh City. The airport will ultimately be able to accommodate 100 million passengers. However, in its first phase, it will be able to receive up to 25 million passengers. It will be located 40 km east of the Southern Vietnamese metropolis.