VIETNAM – PRESS: FAST TRACKING PHAN THIET AIRPORT
|Vietnam’s Binh Thuan provincial authorities are demanding the construction of the civilian-military Phan Thiet Airport be speeded up to allow it open to commercial traffic next year.|
|Construction began in 2015 and there are no signs that it can open any time soon.
Local media reported that provincial authorities want the Ministry of Defense to pay compensation to land owners. Of VND135 billion (USD6 million), around VND50 billion (USD2.2 million) has been paid so far.
The ministry should sanction the extra money needed to upgrade the runway from a 4C to 4E standard as described by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), according to the authorities.
The ministry also should identify the builder of the military section of the airport so that the work can move forward.
The 543 ha Phan Thiet Airport in Thien Nghiep Commune is being built on the basis of a BOT (build-operate-transfer) formula with an estimated cost of VND5.6 trillion (USD247 million), the report said.
Rang Dong JSC won the bid to build the civilian component of the airport, which is expected to cost VND1.64 trillion (USD73.5 million).
Scheduled to open next year, the airport will have a capacity to handle up to 500,000 passengers a year.
It is expected to help develop tourism and other services and attract investors by reducing the travelling time to Phan Thiet.
Rang Dong Group, which was founded in 1991, operates in tourism, traffic infrastructure, golf courses, mining, forest plantation, and real estate trading.
Vietnam has 21 operational airports, nine of them international: Noi Bai, Cam Ranh, Danang, Phu Bai, Vinh, Chu Lai, Tan Son Nhat, Can Tho (Tra Noc) and Phu Quoc, the report added.
Binh Thuan is located on the country’s south central coast and is known for its pristine beaches.
Tourism accounts for 8.26% of the province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) at present.
Binh Thuan welcomed over 4.52 million domestic tourists in 2016, earning VND9.04 trillion (USD397.48 million).
Phan Thiet’ international tourism follows specific winter and summer season trends. During winter, mostly northern Europeans and Russians visit the beach resorts, many of them enjoy kitesurfing and windsurfing.
In summer season, Phan Thiet is a popular destination for Australians and North Americans, as well as Vietnamese escaping the stifling hot temperatures and humidity of the cities.
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