Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vietnam to spend $857 mln on Hanoi airport upgrade

Wed May 21, 2008 3:17am EDT

HANOI, May 21 (Reuters) - The Vietnamese government has approved a plan to expand its second-largest airport near the capital Hanoi by 2020 with an estimated investment of 13.74 trillion dong ($857 million).

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has approved the project to build a third terminal at Noi Bai International Airport 45 km (28 miles) north of Hanoi, so it could handle 25 million passengers a year by 2020, up from 10 million passengers now, a government statement said.

The expansion of Noi Bai, which ranks behind Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, will be funded by the state budget, corporate funds and private equity depending on component projects, the statement issued late on Tuesday said.

Vietnam would need to invest another 43 trillion dong after 2020 to double Noi Bai's capacity to 50 million passengers a year from 2030.

Vietnam has forecast air passenger traffic to more than double to 32.4 million people by 2020 from nearly 15 million last year. It has been opening up the aviation sector to foreign investment since it joined the World Trade Organisation in January 2007. (Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)