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Site Clearance, Land Compensation for Long Thanh Airport Will Require $1bn: Report

The Vietnamese government plans to reclaim 5,585 hectares of land and relocate 15,500 people to make way for Long Thanh Airport.

Last week, the Ministry of Transport submitted to the National Assembly a feasibility study to acquire land for Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai province, according to Vietnam News. When completed, the airport will be able to shoulder a considerable amount of Tan Son Nhat's current passenger load.

The ministry estimated that in addition to the VND5 trillion (US$220 million) already approved, the plan will require an additional VND18 trillion (US$794 million), as reported by Dan Tri. The report predicts that 78.5% of the money will be spent on compensation measures for displaced residents.

Affected families will be compensated for their houses based on the market value of the construction of the house at the time of compensation. Displaced people will also receive job training, school expenses, health insurance, special loan rates and rent assistance while they await construction of new homes.

Of the 15,500 people that are expected to be moved, 70% are farmers, while many of the others work on nearby rubber plantations. In addition to the above benefits, households that have all their agricultural land taken will receive an allowance of VND10 million (US$440) to VND30 million (US$1,320) per household.

The government has also proposed spending cutbacks to cover the plan’s expenses. State recurrent expenditures could reach VND900 trillion (US$40 billion) this year, with more than half of it going to salaries and bonuses, according to VnExpress. That is 2.2 times what the figure was five years ago. Cutting these expenses should provide enough for the airport, a high-ranking official told the news source.

Pham Minh Chinh, head of the Communist Party's Central Organizing Commission, said if the government can reduce spending by 2% for five more years, there would be enough money for the first phase of the airport’s construction.

The new airport will be located in Long Thanh District of Dong Nai province, 40 kilometers away from Saigon.

The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2025. When that work is finished, the aerodrome will be able to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of freight a year.

[Photo via Dat Nen Long Thanh]

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