QUANG NINH, 26 February 2016: An airport near Halong Bay in Quang Ninh province will open late 2017 with a capacity to serve up to 2 million passengers a year.
Thanh Nien News quoted the province’s vice chairman, Nguyen Van Thanh, saying the project has been delayed for nearly a year due to a longer than expected feasibility study process.
With a cost estimated at USD331.7 million for its first phase, Quang Ninh Airport will be built on Van Don Island, about 50 km from Halong Bay.
By 2020 studies indicate the airport will need to expand to accommodate up to 5 million passengers a year.
A group of South Korean investors, including Korea Airports Corporation and POSCO Engineering and Construction, were assigned to build the airport under a built-operate-transfer arrangement.
But they withdrew, last year, leaving real estate conglomerate Sun Group to take over the project.
The Quang Ninh airport project received the go-ahead from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung Jin uly 2014.
Quang Ninh welcomed around 7.7 million tourists in 2015, a year-on-year rise of 103% compared from 2014, according to the province department of Culture, Sport and Tourism. Of that total foreign tourists accounted for 2.7 million visits, a 6% increase.
Halong Bay is the most popular sightseeing destination in North Vietnam and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. It is also the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature designated in April 2012 by New Open World Corporation, an associate of the New 7 Wonders Foundation.