The Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh welcomed the first aircraft on the morning of July 11, marking an important milestone in preparations for putting the airport into official operation later this year.
Construction on the airport, the first in Vietnam invested in by a private enterprise - the Sun Group – in the BOT formula, started in March 2016 in Doan Ket commune of Van Don district, with a total investment of VND7.7 trillion (US$334 million).
Under Decision No.497/QD-BGTVT on March 15, 2018 by the Ministry of Transport, Van Don will be an international airport, serving both civil and military flights with a 3.6km long runway.
The airport is expected to become operational this December, with nine air routes and capable of serving around 7,000 passengers per day.
The airport will have an annual capacity of 2-2.5 million passengers by 2020, which will increase to 5 million by 2030.
Set to cover more than 326ha by 2020, the airport is comprised of support facilities, a two-module terminal, and other functional areas. A cargo terminal is expected to be built by 2030 with a capacity of at least 51,000 tonnes.
The establishment of Van Don airport is hoped to facilitate travel to Quang Ninh, home to the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay.
It is also expected to boost local development, as it will provide thousands of jobs with stable income for local people.
In 2017, Quang Ninh counted a total of 9.87 million tourist arrivals, including 4.28 million foreigners, up 18% and 23% year-on-year, respectively.
The locality, which is hosting the National Tourism Year 2018, hopes to welcome 12 million visitors this year, including 5 million foreigners, pulling an earning of VND22 trillion (US$968 million).