Go-ahead for Vietnam's Largest Airport

 Indochina Chronicles (1974-1975)
A proposed layout for the largest airport in Vietnam's history has been unveiled, paving the way for its construction to begin in four years time.

Just over two months ago, formal approval for Long Thanh International Airport's go-ahead was given by the Vietnamese Prime Minister. Now, a plan's emerged for the massive new hub, which will ultimately be able to handle 100m passengers per annum. That 100 million passenger level however, won't be reached until 2035, when the final construction phase, out of three, has been finished.

The expectations for Vietnam's Long Thanh International Airport are considerable. Over $10bn is being invested into it and it's predicted to become a major South East Asian gateway. With Ho Chi Minh City - the country's largest - approximately 40 kilometres away, the new Vietnamese airport will be developed in line with a tourist influx that's already happening and increasing by up to 20 per cent each year, as more and more visitors journey to the area.

Long Thanh International Airport  
Long Thanh International Airport will cover a 50 square kilometre area and boast no less than four runways, each of them 4,000 metres in length. Complementing its passenger capacity, the site will also process a maximum of five million metric tonnes of cargo every 12 months.

Its initial phase development - slated for 2015-2020 -will see the first pair of runways laid down and associated infrastructure added around them. This will give the site an initial operating capacity of 25m passengers per annum - a figure that will effectively double once phase 2's added a third runway in 2030.

Vietnam's Largest Airport  
Once the fourth runway's in place, and the 100m passenger level reached, Long Thanh will be Vietnam's largest airport.

Ho Chi Ming City's presently served by Tan Son Nhat International Airport, but that site has now become seriously overloaded, handling 15-and-a-half million passengers last year.

As reported by Airport International, Vietnam opened a brand new airport at the very start of 2011. Can Tho International Airport's not a development on the same scale as Long Thanh but will still handle a considerable five million passengers a year.