Construction of the Lao Cai Airport in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai 's Bao Thang district will kick off this year, according to the Ministry of Transport.

On Jan.14, the ministry's Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and the provincial People's Committee announced plans for the airport until 2020 with an orientation until 2030.

Under the plan, the airport will be built 20km to the south of Lao Cai City on 140ha with 1.3 trillion VND (61.9 million USD) in investment. It will serve military and civil purposes, and will aid rescue efforts in the event of flash floods and landslide occur which can interrupt road and railway traffic.

The plan calls for a 1,800m runway at a width of 30 metres. The parking area for aeroplanes will measure 10,000sq.m while the terminal will cover 3,000sq.m.

It is expected to serve 200 passengers during rush hours.

The first phase of the project is scheduled to be complete in 2020.

According to the CAAV, Lao Cai province is an economic centre, lying at an important position for international cooperation, regional economic exchange, and trade with China . Therefore, construction of the airport is essential for creating a driving force for the province's economic and culture development, and helping to ensure national defence and security in the northwest region.

The provincial People's Committee committed to providing compensation for 148 households in Gia Phu Commune which will be moved to make space for the project as soon as possible./.