Gov't okays construction of Long Thanh airport

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week approved a plan to construct a mega airport near Ho Chi Minh City.

The first phase of construction at Long Thanh International Airport in southern Dong Nai Province, some 40 kilometers northeast of HCMC, will begin in 2015 and is expected to finish by 2020.

According to the plan submitted by the Transport Ministry, three runways and two terminals in the 5,000-hectare airport will be able to handle 50 million passengers a year by 2030.

The cargo terminal will have a capacity to handle 1.5 million tons annually.

The airport, estimated to cost US$10 billion, will be financed by government budgets, and private and foreign funds.

The Long Thanh Airport is expected to ease the burden on HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport, currently the country's largest, which has a footfall of 12 million passengers and handles 278,000 tons of cargo a year.

On completion, the airport will serve 90 percent of international and 20 percent of domestic flights.

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