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Airport for Mui Ne in the Works

Saigon might not be the only one who’s getting a shiny new airport - developers have submitted plans to the Phan Thiet central government to construct a $270 million regional airport. Russians, rejoice!

The airport, scheduled to open in 2017, will span around 500 hectares and will be located in Thien Nghiep – a coastal area near Mui Ne Beach. According to Vietnam Airlines Corporation (VNA), the airport is part of the grander picture of connectivity between Saigon and Nha Trang:

“The development of Phan Thiet airport should be considered in the context that there are also many other transport methods to the area, including road, sea, railway, and high-speed railway between Saigon and Nha trang.”  

At first, the airport will only accommodate smaller planes and helicopters with an annual capacity of over 500,000. It is expected to offer 12 air routes of distances under 800 kilometers on top of 12 services of distances below 2,000 kilometers. By 2030, the airport’s capacity will rise to over 1 million passengers and will be upgraded to accommodate medium-sized aircraft. The airport has been approved for both civil and military purposes.

Capital for the airport will come from the nixed Nha Trang Airport, and the project developer – a joint venture between the under the Defense Ministry’s 319 Corporation and Vietnamese property investment company Thanh Dong Real Estate Investment JSC. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) hopes that the airport will add to the already increasing number of tourists visiting the popular beach town.

Considering the lack of size and international (or even some domestic) flights, in its early stages, it’s a bit unclear who will be using the airport initially. Since the only international airport nearby is Tan Son Nhat here in Saigon, those who chose to fly to Phan Thiet will be skipping the relatively painless 5 hour bus ride.

The project, with planned expansions in 2020 and 2030, is banking on Phan Thiet's future growth. Considering the price tag, we're not sure it's worth the risk (unless we meet a Russian who offers to fly us there on their helicopter). 

[Vietnam Investment Review]

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