Con Dao’s airport to be expanded hinh anh 1Con Dao plans to expand Co Ong Airport and its terminals to boost tourism. (Photo: VNA)

Ba Ria-Vung Tau (VNA) – Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has supported the upgrade and expansion of Co Ong airport in Con Dao island district, in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The and officials from the Ministry of Transport had a working session in Con Dao district on April 18 with Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s authorities on the development of infrastructure for the airport and Con Dao seaport.

The minister said he asked the Vietnam Airlines Corporation to complete a detailed planning on Co Ong airport within the next three months.

The Vietnam Airlines Corporation made a plan on the upgrade and expansion of Co Ong airport with a designed catering capacity of 4-5 million passengers a year, ten times more than the current capacity.

He asked the Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee to work together with the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Construction to consult the Government for the early approval of an adjusted master planning on the development of Con Dao so it can serve as a foundation for the Ministry of Transport to carry out transport-related works there, including the expansion of Co Ong airport.

Co Ong airport was built under the French colonialism. In 2004, it was upgraded to receive ATR72 aircraft and its terminal can serve up to 200 passengers at the same time. At present, it is operated by Vietnam Air Service Company (VASCO) with two routes linking Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong delta city of Can Tho.

According to the Con Dao district People’s Committee, the number of tourists, both local and foreign, to Con Dao is on the rise, with the growth of 25-30 percent annually in recent time.

Con Dao is an archipelago consisting of 16 small islands, the biggest one Con Dao island, 117 km southeast of Vietnam’s mainland.

In 1862, French colonialists turned the island into a prison and from 1968 to 1975, the American used the prison to jail Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers. In recent years, the island has become a history museum which attracts many Vietnamese and foreign visitors.-VNA