Future VN int'l airport facing turbulence
VietNamNet Bridge – Five months after being approved by legislators, the Long Thanh Airport project is now working on solutions regarding site clearance and resettlement of local residents.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019, and the airport is likely to become operational by 2023. — File Photo
Authorities of the Dong Nai Province, where the airport will be located, said at a seminar last week that they would seek the government's assistance in these matters.
It is estimated that it would cost nearly VND11 trillion (US$495 million) to clear 2,750 hectares of land, which must start right away for the project to break ground by the end of 2018 or early 2019 as planned, said Dinh Quoc Thai, the provincial People's Committee.
Thai said the province has asked the Prime Minister for capital in accordance with the project's progress.
However, Truong Van Phuoc, Vice Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, said the State budget collection has been decreasing in 2015, leaving the Government unlikely to be able to fund the site clearance phase in a short period of time.
Phuoc suggested issuing bonds to relocate residents. For instance, if a resident is to be compensated with VND3 billion (US$134,500), they would receive VND1 billion ($44,800) first, and receive the rest in bonds. They can reclaim all the money in several years.
National Assembly deputy Tran Du Lich, from HCM City, said the solution was not feasible.
He said currently, Dong Nai submitted around VND12 trillion ($537.9 million) to the State budget. The province can ask for the government to reduce the amount by VND2 trillion to VND3 trillion, and take loans on its own to have sufficient funding for site clearance for the project.
Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Dinh Quoc Thai said the province had also asked the PM for permission to appoint contractors to build infrastructure for two resettlement areas, Binh Son and Loc An – Binh Son, to relocate households from the project site in a timely manner.
The province has built a policy framework on compensation, resettlement and employment to affected residents.
Deputy Tran Du Lich said assistance in resettlement, job training and employment must be studied carefully to benefit local residents.
Tran Van Vinh, vice chairman of the province's People's Committee, said the province has worked with local vocational training centres and investors in the area to study the demand for recruitment and training courses available.
From now to 2018, training will be provided to those who are able to find jobs immediately. From 2018 to 2023, many people can be hired to work on the projects. For the third phase when the airport is operational, the province will work with the aviation sector to see what jobs they can provide, Vinh said.
The Long Thanh international airport project was approved by the National Assembly in June this year. Once completed, the airport will be able to handle 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of cargo per year.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019, and the airport is likely to become operational by 2023.
The total cost of the three-phase project is estimated to be VND336.63 trillion ($15 billion). The project's funding is expected to come from the State budget, official development assistance, corporate investment and public-private partnerships, among other resources.