CAAV proposes upgrading Na San airport hinh anh 1The Na San Airport in Son La province has severely deteriorated after years of abandonment. (Photo: Ministry of Transport)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed the Ministry of Transport seek the Government’s approval for the Son La Provincial People’s Committee to develop Na San Airport project after it refused to invest in the project due to a shortage of funding.

If approved, the upgraded airport project will be implemented in the form of a public-private partnership with total investment capital of 2 trillion VND (86.2 million USD).

The Na San Airport was built in 1950. It lies 187 kilometres from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and 110km from Dien Bien Phu Airport in northwestern Dien Bien province. 

The airport was shut down after a short operation time due to few passengers. In 1994, it reopened before closing down again in 2004 due to the deterioration of the runway, failing to meet safety standards.

Based on the Ministry of Transport’s plan, the CAAV coordinated with the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) and relevant units to map out a plan to rebuild the airport with a total investment of more than 1.98 trillion VND (85.3 million USD). However, the project has not been implemented due to a shortage of funding.

In 2019, the ACV continued proposing to build the Na San Airport as planned, including a full flight zone, terminal, aircraft yard, and airport area with a total capital of 2.2 trillion VND (94.8 million USD) but failed due to a capital shortage.

In March this year, the Son La People’s Committee proposed the Ministry of Transport add the upgraded Na San Airport project to the list of priority projects in 2021-2030. The province also asked the Prime Minister for permission to implement the project.

Under the Transport Ministry’s plan for the national airport system, pending the Prime Minister’s approval, the Na San airport is projected to operate A320/A321 aircraft or the equivalent by 2030, serving 1 million passengers per year. By 2050, the airport’s capacity is expected to reach a capacity of 2 million passengers per year.

The project, oriented to mobilise social capital for investment in airport infrastructure, will classify the Na San Airport in Group 3 along with other airports such as Dien Bien, Dong Hoi, Pleiku, Buon Ma Thuot, Rach Gia, Ca Mau and Con Dao.

The Ministry of Transport will transfer the airfield and the ACV transfer the other essential infrastructure works to the province to mobilise resources for development./.