|Experts discuss the start date for construction of Long Thành International Airport at a seminar held in HCM City yesterday. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Construction of Long Thành International Airport in the southern province of Đồng Nai at an earlier date than initially planned would help reduce the overload on neighbouring Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City, experts said at a seminar held in the city yesterday.
Organised by the Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper, the seminar was attended by local experts, officials from ministries and departments, and representatives from other agencies. The aim was to discuss solutions to implementing the Long Thành International Airport project at an earlier date than originally planned.
Attendees expressed concern about policies and measures related to capital sources, modes of investment, land clearance, resettlement, and compensation to landowners.
Many experts agreed that the opening of Long Thành International Airport would allow Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport to decrease its number of flights and have time to upgrade and expand later.
Nguyễn Ngọc Đông, deputy minister of transport, said: "Creating favourable conditions for the construction of Long Thành International Airport will offer a great opportunity for growth of the aviation market.”
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Việt Nam will become one of the five fastest-growing markets in the world in terms of additional passengers per year in 2015-35 period.
Nguyễn Ngọc Hưng, deputy director of the province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the airport project would be the largest project in the province since 1975. It 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 co-operate 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, according to Hưng.
He said the government needs to 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, Dương Trung Quốc, historian and National Assembly deputy, said.
“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 Thành International Airport has been designed to handle about 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of goods each year.
Total costs are estimated at VNĐ336.6 trillion (US$16 billion). 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 per year. — VNS