The Vietnamese Government has brought down its estimates for the construction of the Long Thanh Airport in Ho Chi Minh City from $7.8 billion to approximately $6.6 billion. The cost estimate is for the first phase construction of the airport that will start next year. The estimate for the second phase has not yet been revealed.
Reportedly, the ministry of transport was able to cut the estimates as it decided to build one runway in the first stage, instead of two as previously planned.
Not having to pay for state lands managed by the defence ministry also helped to reduce the estimate by approximately $185.1 million.
Thanh Nien News quoted CEO of Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation Dinh Viet Thang as saying that despite the changes, the airport’s maximum capacity will be maintained at 38 million passengers annually in the first stage.
Once the airport becomes operational in 2020, it is expected to serve around 100 million passengers a year.
The country is hoping that Long Thanh, located about 40km north-east of Ho Chi Minh City, will replace Tan Son Nhat to become the main gateway to Vietnam.
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam, which operates Tan Son Nhat, had proposed to expand the airport after it reached its designed capacity of 20 million passengers a year at the end of 2013 to enable it to achieve a maximum capacity of 26 million passengers annually.