LAO CAI PROVINCE PROPOSES NEW AIRPORT
LAO CAI — The People’s Committee of the northern mountain province of Lao Cai has proposed the Ministry of Transport construct an airport in Sapa with total capital investment of nearly VNĐ5.8 trillion (US$252 million). According to the plan, Sapa Airport will be used for both commercial and military purposes, therefore, it should be built as soon as possible. The airport will be located in Cam Cọn Commune, Bao Yen District, Lao Cai Province, with a land use area of 371ha. The construction of Sapa Airport will be divided into two phases. In the first phase, expected to begin before 2020, the airport targets a capacity of 560,000 passengers and 600 tonnes of cargo per year. Aircraft, including A320, A321 and equivalent, will be able to land in two locations. Total investment for the first phase is estimated at about VNĐ4.7 trillion (including site clearance cost of the whole project). In the second phase, the airfield will receive 1.5 million passengers and 2,880 tonnes of cargo per year by 2030. Aircraft would be able to land in five locations. Total investment is set at about VNĐ1 trillion.
The provincial People’s Committee proposed calling for private investments to fund the project. Specifically, Lao Cai will call for an investment of VNĐ160 billion from Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) and VNĐ1.724 trillion from Vietnam Aviation Corporation. Lao Cai is located on the economic corridor of Kunming – Lao Cai – Hanoi – Hai Phong and an economic belt based on trade development among provinces in Southwest China. Currently, the province’s transportation system incorporates only roads and railways. Therefore, an airport is considered important in improving the transportation network, contributing to the diversification of modes of transport and creating new motivation for the development of Lao Cai Province in particular and the northwest mountainous provinces in general.