|A model of the Long Thanh Airport which will be located in Long Thanh District, Dong Nai Province. Field research on site clearance for the airport has been carried out by a joint mission from different ministries. — VNS File Photo
DONG NAI (VNS) — Field research on the plan for site clearance of Long Thanh International Airport was conducted by a joint mission from the Transport Ministry, the Department of Mineral Resources and Environment of Dong Nai Province and Vietnam Airlines on Friday.
The airport would be located in Long Thanh District's Suoi Dau Commune in Dong Nai Province.
According to the Dong Nai Department of Mineral Resources and Environment, the provincial authorities have mapped out a plan for site clearance compensation for the first phase of the project (2015 – 2035). Total compensation for affected families would amount to VND14 trillion (US$642 million).
All families to be affected by the airport project have agreed to resettle in two new residential areas, Loc An and Binh Son, in Dong Nai's Long Thanh District.
Under the resettlement plans, Dong Nai provincial authorities aim to help residents from families affected by the project to change jobs.
Speaking during the field research, Nguyen Hong Truong, deputy minister for transport, said construction of the airport was an urgent task because transport infrastructure must be developed in advance to pave way for economic development.
He said the Southern Focal Economic Zone, including Dong Nai Province, is the most dynamic region of the country, and an impetus for economic development of Viet Nam.
During a seminar held by the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) in HCM City in April, Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the CAAV, said building an aviation hub or entrepot was a long-term strategic mission of his agency.
The airport would also help resolve issues facing Tan Son Nhat International Airport, including noise, pollution and threats to safety of densely populated urban areas nearby.
Tran Dinh Thien, director of the Viet Nam Economic Research Institute and an enthusiastic backer of the project, said if Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City was expanded to double its size, it would remain a traditional terminal. But the question is moot as expansion is impossible due to its urban location.
"If we want to compete with Singapore and Thailand, we should have a different view on Long Thanh International Terminal. It should not only be a place for transporting passengers; but also a transit point for cargo," said Thien.
Le Manh Hung, general director of the Airport Corporation of Viet Nam, said Tan Son Nhat had a capacity of 25 million passengers a year, but by 2017, it would be overloaded.
Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Quy Tieu said it was imperative to quickly build Long Thanh airport to bolster economic development.
Meanwhile, Dr Tran Dinh Ba, the man who proposed the much-debated straight-line air route between HCM City and Ha Noi, said he was concerned that the new airport's US$18.7 billion cost was too high.
Long Thanh, approved by the Government in 2011, is scheduled to open in 2020 with a capacity of 25 million passengers a year, according to authorities in Dong Nai Province, where the airport is to be built.
To be built in three phases, it is expected to be fully completed by 2035, with a capacity of 100 million passengers.
Construction of the airport project is scheduled to begin this year. — VNS