Vientiane airport extension slows

VIENTIANE, 21 March 2017: The Vientiane International Airport Terminal Expansion project is now behind schedule.

Construction began in December 2015 and is due to be completed by 2018.

Vientiane Times’ said the project’s monthly progress report stated 13% of the work was competed by the end of February short of the targeted 16% as stated in the official workflow chart.

Project director, Sengsangouane Chanthavong said he was confident the construction teams would speed up work over the next few months to get back on track.

“The delay is the result of various factors including a lack of coordination between sectors involved as well as delays in the import of equipment and materials,” he told the Vientiane Times.

He insisted the extension would be completed by 2018 as planned.

The airport expansion will increase the passenger terminal handling capacity, and extend access roads, car park, while adding more taxiways for aircraft.

Recent statistics showed the airport handled 202 international and 270 domestic flights weekly.

Passenger traffic has increased 9% on average each year between 2000 and 2009.

In 2014 the airport handled 690,000 international and 300,000 domestic passengers and is expected to handle another 1.9 million international and 460,000 domestic passengers by 2023, according to the report.

The airport expansion is funded through  a concessional loan of approximately 9 billion Japanese yen.