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Con Dao to Reclaim Sea for $99m Proposed Extension of Airport Runway

Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial authorities have identified a runway extension of Con Dao's airport as a key development project for the region's development.

The plan will require a budget of US$99 million and reclaim 120 meters of the bordering sea.

On April 20, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung authorized the Ministry of Transport to oversee the adjusted plan that would increase the airport's capacity to 2 million passengers per year and allow it to receive larger aircraft, reports Dan Tri.

Before work can begin, the Ministry of Transport has tasked Vietnam Airlines and consultants with making sure the revised design plan meets International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines due to the land reclamation requirements. 

Con Dao Airport has been in operation since 2004 and has received a number of upgrades over the years, currently serving 300,000 passengers annually. The airport is only able to operate 12 hours per day due to its geographic position between hills and the ocean; its outdated lighting system also prevents night service.

Once a Khmer territory known as Koh Tralach, in colonial times, Con Dao was used as a port for the British East India Company, and later the site of a brutal French prison complex. It is now home to Con Dao National Park, which protects endangered species including hawksbill turtles, green turtles, dolphins, and dugongs. It also features a number of ecosystems from mangroves to coral reefs.

Tourism on the island has been putting a strain on infrastructure and power supply, concerning local authorities as demand is outpacing development. 

Con Dao authorities are working with the World Wildlife Fund to develop sustainable nature-based ecotourism.

[Photo via Google Earth]