Oct 22, 2021 / 14:37

Vietnamese Gov’t greenlights investment of US$307-million Sapa Airport

The Sapa Airport is designed to have a total capacity of three million passengers of year and is capable of serving operations of narrow-body aircraft of Airbus 320 or Boeing 737.

The Vietnamese Government plans to allocate VND7 trillion (US$307.4 million) for the construction of the Sapa Airport in the northwest mountainous Lao Cai Province on an area of 371 hectares.

Design of Sapa Airport. Source: Lao Cai Newspaper

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh signed off the decision on October 21, noting the project would be carried out under the public-private partnership (PPP) financing mechanism.

According to the decision, the Sapa Airport project is set to be executed in phases, in which the first would be commenced right in 2021 with the construction of the airport under the 4C standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and a grade II military airport, with the two expecting to handle a total of 1.5 million passengers per year.

The second phase would start in 2028 to finalize other facilities and raise the capacity to three million passengers per year.

The Government expected the total construction time to be around 4 years and another 46 years to recover the investment capital.

Under the PPP method, the airport project would be divided into two sub-components, including a site clearance project financed by the public investment fund and the airport construction under the PPP.

It is estimated the first phase would require VND4.18 trillion ($184 million), or 60% of total investment capital, and the remaining 40%, or VND2.76 trillion ($121.2 million), for the second phase.

The Government would contribute VND2.73 trillion ($120 million) in the project for site clearance, resettlement, and infrastructure construction, while another VND4.2 trillion ($184 million) would be mobilized by investors.

The decision assigned the Lao Cai authority to conduct the project feasibility study, along with the contractor selection process to ensure efficiency and transparency.

The Government’s planning for Sapa Airport would have a total capacity of three million passengers a year and is capable of handling narrow-body aircraft of Airbus 320 or Boeing 737.