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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Some packages of Long Thanh airport project lag behind schedule

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Although the Government has allocated enough capital for site clearance and resettlement for the Long Thanh International Airport project in Dong Nai Province, only 77% of land has been cleared, affecting the progress of the entire project.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh on November 1 convened an online meeting with the southern province of Dong Nai and the relevant ministries and agencies over the implementation of the project, the local media reported.

In mid-September, the central Government, concerned about the possibility that the Long Thanh airport project might fall behind schedule, called on Dong Nai Province to step up site clearance.

During the November 1 meeting, Dong Nai Chairman Cao Tien Dung said the province has had difficulty clearing land. Some 1,000 households have already agreed to hand over their land but procedures have not been completed. The province has established a working team to address the issue.

The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the issue. During long months of social distancing,  the province had to inform the affected families of compensation, support and resettlement policies through postal services, leading to more time being needed.

It would be challenging to complete land clearance for the big-ticket airport project this year.

The Ministry of Transport also pointed out difficulties in mobilizing manpower, especially foreign experts, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the project investor, has received more than 1,200 of the 1,800 hectares of land, which needs to be handed over, affecting the progress of the site leveling.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong said sufficient capital for site clearance had been provided to Dong Nai, but the capital disbursement had been slow. He asked the province to disburse over VND10 trillion by the end of this year.

Concluding the meeting, Deputy PM Thanh asked the Dong Nai government to take responsibility before the Government for completing land clearance for the first phase of the project before December 31 and hand over 5,200 hectares of land in the first quarter of next year.

He also assigned ACV and the Ministry of Transport to accelerate the design preparation and appraisal and strive to start work on the site leveling package next month.

Meanwhile, the passenger terminal with an estimated investment of VND50 trillion must be kicked off before March next year, and the aircraft parking area and runways by August 2022.

Deputy PM Thanh said the Long Thanh International Airport is a key national project to help with the country’s socioeconomic development, adding that the project’s progress must be ensured so it can be completed in early 2025.

The Long Thanh International Airport project will have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo. The project needs an estimated VND336.63 trillion, or roughly US$14 billion, including VND114.45 trillion for the first phase.

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