Hanoi (VNA) – The State-owned Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) will directly invest in building the Long Thanh International Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai, without using offical development assistance (ODA) capital.

The Ministry of Transport said that although ACV has not yet invested in any airport of similar scale, this unit boasts experience in implementing many component projects at airports across the country.

Earlier, the ministry submitted to the Government three investment options for Long Thanh International Airport project.

Specifically, in Option 1, the airport will be invested in accordance with the orientation mentioned in the pre-feasibility study report, in which investors and operators use ODA loans.

Option 2 was proposed by the Japan-France-Vietnam Joint Venture (JFV Consultant) and ACV, assigning ACV to be the investor and operator of the airport without using ODA capital.

Meanwhile, in Option 3, tenders will be made to select airport investors and operators, using enterprise capital but not ODA loans in the form of PPP (public-private partnership) under business-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts.

After analysing and assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the investment options, the JFV Consultant and ACV proposed investment under Option 2.

Regarding this issue, a ACV leader said that the second option has many advantages. Legally, international aviation organisations have recommended that an airport be run by an operator to ensure smooth operation.

“ACV is now operating 21 airports nationwide. It is a joint stock company with 95.4 percent of the stake held by the State, while Long Thanh is expected to be the largest airport in the national airport network. ACV's investment in and management of this airport will create a synchronized connection with other airports,”  said he.

In the 2019-2025 period, ACV plans to earmark 1.5 billion USD for the implementation of the project. It will only borrow a part of the sum or cooperate with other partners to invest in the project’s components.

In a report submited to the Prime Minister, the State Appraisal Council said it selected the ACV-proposed plan in which construction on the Long Thanh International Airport will start in early 2021 and complete in 2025 as set in the National Assembly’s Resolution.

Earlier, in the project feasibility study (FS) report submitted to the Prime Minister and the State Appraisal Council, the JFV Consultant proposed the application of artificial intelligence in handling procedures of passengers and immigration procedures to support the identification through biometric data (faces, fingerprints...), contributing to the fast and accurate handling of procedures as well as identifying passengers in the list of those banned from boarding and giving timely warnings to security forces at the Long Thanh International Airport.

[Site clearance for Long Thanh airport urged to finish before 2021]

In addition to traditional systems, the Long Thanh International Airport will be also equipped with super-modern systems applying the latest technology such as selfkios, self baggage drop, automated immigration clearance and automated immigration gates...

It will also have a centralized database system designed for a smart airport to manage the entire airport's data (flight information, flight control, immigration, customs...), helping the operator manage the airport the most effectively as well as monitor, detect, and solve security issues quickly and effectively.

The construction of the Long Thanh International Airport is estimated to cost more than 336.6 trillion (16 billion USD), with over 114.400 trillion VND (5.45 billion USD) for the first phase. The project covers a total area of more than 5,000ha in Long Thanh district, Dong Nai province.

The airport is designed to handle up to 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of cargo per year once its three phases are completed in 2050.

In the first phase, slated for completion by 2025, the airport will have one runway and one passenger terminal able to accommodate 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo per year.

The second runway and terminal will be built in the second phase to raise the airport’s annual capacity to 50 million passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo.

The three phases are estimated to cost 5.4 billion USD now, but experts have warned this could double if the project is delayed by five years.

Located 40km to the east of HCM City, Long Thanh airport is expected to relieve overloading at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City, the country’s largest airport./.