Vietnam pushes airport expansion

Vietnam's Ministry of Transport is calling on relevant agencies to speed up preparations for construction of a passenger terminal at the Noi Bai International Airport.

Construction of the T2 terminal, the second of its kind for the airport, is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2008.

The US$419 million terminal will be funded by the national reserve capital and channelled through the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB).

The terminal is set to open in October 2010, coinciding with the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi. The terminal will be able to receive 10 million passengers annually. It's capacity will be raised to 15 million passengers a year in the second phase.

The existing T1 terminal, capable of welcoming 6 million passengers per annum, will become a domestic terminal.

In the long-term, Noi Bai airport will be upgraded to handle 50 million passengers every year.

In another effort to meet the growing number of travellers and visitors to the country, the ministry is planning to upgrade northern Hai Phong city's Cat Bi airport to an international airport able to receive larger planes such as the Boeing 777.

It is also preparing procedures to call for investment in the Van Don airport in the northeastern Quang Ninh province.