Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) is working on a project to expand Cam Ranh Airport in Khanh Hoa province to enable it to handle 2.6 million passengers a year, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

The number of passengers going through the airport in the central province in 2013 almost reached its capacity. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, the number of passengers at Cam Ranh Airport reached 1.5 million passengers last year compared to its capacity of 1.6 million passengers.

The expansion plan comprises building a new runway at Cam Ranh Airport as a plan to shutdown the airport from June until August for upgrading the existing runway will heavily affect the province’s economy, especially the local tourism sector. Besides, the airport is currently used for military purpose.

ACV has also proposed developing a new terminal under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format and Khanh Hoa province be responsible for investment in the new runway.

The expansion project is estimated to cost around 4.5 trillion VND (over 211 million USD).

Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has told ACV to map out two investment plans for the project to expand Cam Ranh Airport, with the first implemented under the public-private partnership (PPP) and the corporation required to assess the value of the airport as capital contribution to a venture to carry out the project with investors while the second will be undertaken under the BOT format.

The airport expansion project has attracted a number of foreign companies. In May last year, US airport development company ADC & HAS worked with the Ministry of Transport over cooperation in expanding Cam Ranh Airport.

Cam Ranh Airport will be able to handle modern aircraft, including Boeing B767-300, B777, B747 by 2020 in line with an already-approved zoning plan for the airport.-VNA