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PM Calls for Faster Progress on Long Thành International Airport

During a visit to the site of the planned Long Thành International Airport in Dong Nai Province last week, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính expressed frustration with the slow progress of the project's necessary land clearance.

The Prime Minister shared his disappointment with several ministries, sectors and agencies involved in the progress of what will be the nation's largest international airport once completed, according to VnExpress. The aerodrome is expected to open in three stages, with the first phase beginning operations in 2025, but slow procedures are putting that timeframe into serious doubt. 

Land clearance was set to be completed by this year, with entire communes already moved, but as of now, only 1,284 hectares have been cleared, with 525 hectares remaining to be taken care of. While acknowledging that this is a complicated project with many involved agencies and authorities that are working on numerous other projects, Chính stressed the need for greater resolve from the parties involved. "Related agencies must clearly discuss current progress and divide responsibilities in order to speed up the project. Those who can do it must be determined and implement it; those who can't, stand aside," he said, according to local media.

Chính further noted that groups involved needed to coordinate better and have stronger management to reduce corruption in various bidding processes for elements of the project. He tasked the head of the People’s Committee of Dong Nai with speeding up the ground clearance and ensuring the quality of resettlement areas. 

Reuters had previously reported that former Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc explained at a groundbreaking event early last year: "The construction of the airport is an important step to boost public investment and reduce the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy."

When finished, the airport will have four runways and four terminals with a capacity of 100 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo each year. The original budget was set at VND336.63 trillion (US$14.5 billion). The new airport is expected to largely serve international flights, while the wildly overburdened Tân Sơn Nhất 40 kilometers away will handle mostly domestic travelers. 

A number of road and railway connections have been proposed for the new airport, but they remain on paper as well.

[Top image via Báo Điện tử Chính phủ]

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