Back Stories » Saigon » Experts Reject Plan for New Saigon Airport

Experts Reject Plan for New Saigon Airport

As plans move forward for Saigon’s new Long Thanh airport, a pair of former aviation officials are questioning the need for such an investment.

Associate Prof. Dr Nguyen Thien Tong, former chairman of the aviation engineering department of the HCMC University of Technology and Le Trong Sanh, former head of the management department at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport, favor upgrading Thanh Son Nhat as opposed to building a completely new airport. Tong compared the project to other, ambitious yet short-sighted infrastructure plans:

 “Recently there have been many projects, including one to build a sea port, worth thousands of billions of dong, but when the port was completed, no cargo ships came.”

While the pair concluded that it would only cost US$1 billion to expand the current airport, Japan Airport Consultants Inc., who are managing the Long Thanh project, say that the cost associated would actually be closer to US$25.2 billion and require the relocation of 140,000 people.

Beyond costs, they also think that building a new international airport while using Tan Son Nhat for domestic flights would make for inefficient transfer of passengers and cargo:

"No international passenger wants to take a bus to Tan Son Nhat to catch a domestic flight after their international flight lands at Long Thanh."

In July the Transport Ministry held a seminar on the development plan for Long Thanh International Airport which is set to replace Tan Son Nhat by 2020. With a total investment of US$7.81 billion in its current design, the ministry warned that the cost could rise significantly if the project is expanded.

The new airport will be built over a 5,000 hectare area in Long Thanh Disrict, eventually serving 80 – 100 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo each year.

Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Airline Department, said his organization is doing everything possible to ensure the project begins on time, “the ministry will mobilize all possible capital sources to begin building the airport in 2015.”

The new airport received approval from the government in August 2011 with the expectation that it will be capable of competing with other large airports in Southeast Asia.

In addition to the airport itself, Dong Nai authorities have released a development plan for the 21,000 hectare area surrounding the future airport that will include a tourism complex, several industrial clusters, and world-class sporting, education and health care facilities.

Despite the criticism, it's unlikely it will have any effect given how much has already been invested in the project.  

[Tuoi Tre]

Related Articles

in Saigon

$100,000 Diamond Allegedly Vanishes From Woman’s Finger In HCMC Hotel

A Hanoi woman claims that she was drugged at a HCMC hotel last weekend and awoke to find that a $100,000 diamond had been pried from her ring.

in Saigon

100-Year-Old Trees In Front Of Opera House Cut Down To Make Way For Metro

Flower Street and the statues in front of Bến Thành Market aren’t the only sacrifices being made to accommodate the construction of Saigon’s first metro line.

in Saigon

122-Year-Old Saigon Woman Confirmed As World’s Oldest

The World Records Association (WRA) has completed the verification process and officially confirmed Saigon’s 122-year-old Nguyen Thi Tru, as the world’s oldest woman.

in Saigon

160 Wood Benches Being Added To Nguyen Hue Street

The trees that were cut down last July during construction of the metro station in front of the Saigon Opera House are making a comeback in the form of benches.

in Saigon

18,600 Trees to Be Cut for Tourist Road Through Can Gio

Saigon authorities have given the go-ahead for a US$8.7 million road through the UNESCO recognized Can Gio biosphere reserve that will necessitate the felling of 18,600 trees.

in Saigon

2 Foreigners Arrested for iPhone Snatching

In a reminder that crime transcends race, 2 foreigners were arrested last Friday for stealing an iPhone from a local woman in District 1. The 2 thieves were identified as Sean Douglas, 17, an Austral...

Partner Content