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Vietnam spends US$4.3 billion to upgrade airports
Jeremy Colson, Bangkok

Jeremy Colson, Bangkok  
(1st Aug 2002)

VIETNAM has embarked on a massive nationwide programme costing US$4.3 billion to upgrade its airports in order to cope with a rapidly growing number of tourists.

According to the Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority (VCAA), the huge budget is necessary to bring all the country"s airports up to scratch, and that amount has been budgeted for up to 2010, when tourist arrivals are expected to reach 7.2 million.

"The first priorities are the three main international airports of Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. But we are also redeveloping Dalat, Hue, Plei Ku, Dak Lak, Cat Bi and several other smaller ones from military to civil airports," VCAA director of planning and investment, Mr Dinh Viet Thang, said.

The biggest single project is at Ho Chi Minh City"s Tan Son Nhat airport, where the runway is being extended to 3.8km. Work on a new terminal will start next year for completion in 2005 or early 2006.

With the expansion, Tan Son Nhat airport will be able to handle 10 million passengers a year.

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