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Vietnam steps up airport network expansion

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Vietnam steps up airport network expansion
Vietnam plans to develop a network of 26 airports, including 10 international ones, by 2020, which will include expanding existing airports and building new ones, is to cost 221.5 trillion dong ($13.29 billion), state news agency VNA reported, quoting an aviation transport development scheme drawn up by the Ministry of Communications and Transport.

According to Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) Chief Pham Quy Tieu, the Government has given the nod to an expansion plan proposed by Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi.

Under the approved plan, a new terminal will be built at Noi Bai, which will help the airport to receive up to 50 million passengers a year by 2020, a huge increase on the estimated 8 million passengers who will use the airport this year.

The CAAV is considering the enlargement of Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh City to enable it to provide facilities and space for around 70 planes to land by 2015, the CAAV chief said.

It is expected that once the enlargement scheme is completed, Tan Son Nhat airport will be able to handle 23.5 million passengers and 600,000 tonnes of cargo a year.

According to the aviation transport development scheme, the country's largest airport, Long Thanh international airport will be built in Ho Chi Minh City's neighbouring Dong Nai province, with the facilities to provide services to 100 million passengers a year.

Several small airports are currently being upgraded to substitute for Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports if needed, including Da Nang airport in the central city of Da Nang and Cat Bi airport in the northern city of Hai Phong.

Chu Lai airport in the central province of Quang Nam will get 11 trillion dong to build a new passenger terminal with the aim of enabling the airport to cater for 2.2 million passengers by 2015.

Lien Khuong airport in the central highlands province of Lam Dong is being also upgraded so it can serve 943,000 passengers a year by 2015.

A new airport to serve planes providing short and medium-range flights is under construction in Phu Quoc island, Kien Giang province. The Phu Quoc airport is expected to welcome 2 million passengers a year.

Rach Gia airport, which is also in Kien Giang province, is set to be expanded to receive 300,000 passengers a year by 2015.

A terminal designed to serve 3 million passengers a year at Can Tho international airport in the Mekong delta city of Can Tho is expected to become operational in May 2010.

There are currently 20 airports in Vietnam, including five international airports which provide services for an estimated 30 million passengers a year, according to the CAAV.

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